UPDATE: Early results indicate that an attempt to recall Seattle District 3 Councilmember Kshama Sawant is currently passing by a 53.1% to 46.9% margin. Read more here.
What happens if District 3 voters choose to remove Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant Tuesday night?
In the event Sawant is recalled, she would be removed from office as soon as the election is certified. Seattle’s city charter mandates that the remaining city councilmembers subsequently appoint an interim District 3 representative within 20 days.
The interim councilmember replacing Sawant would serve in her seat until the next regularly scheduled general election in November of 2022. The winner of that election in 2022 would serve out the remainder of Sawant’s term, which expires in 2023. District 3 voters would then have to go to the ballot box again in 2023 to vote for a councilmember who would serve out a full term through 2027.
Combined across votes for two at-large city council seats in the 2021 August primary and November general election, December’s recall vote for Sawant, 2022’s vote for the councilmember who would serve out Sawant’s last year, and the subsequent 2023 election, District 3 voters would have to fill out five ballots over a two-year period.
Ballots were sent out to District 3 voters last month ahead of a Dec. 7 recall vote. The recall campaign alleges that Sawant abused her role as a councilmember, while she claims the recall effort is a “racist, right wing” attack.
Sawant has served on the Seattle City Council since 2014. She won reelection to her District 3 seat in 2019, defeating challenger Egan Orion by a 52% to 48% margin.