So what’s it take to recall a City Council member in San Juan Capistrano?
A handbook put together by the Orange County Registrar of Voters lays it out. To make it to the ballot, a recall campaign must collect a certain number of valid signatures from registered voters in the impacted area.
For a town San Juan Capistrano’s size – more than 10,000 registered voters but less than 50,000 – that means 20 percent of the registered voters must sign off on the idea of the recall on petitions. City Clerk Maria Morris said according to the last count in the November 2012 election, San Juan Capistrano had 20,399 voters.
So, doing the math, 20 percent of that total would be 4,080 signatures. The proponents of the recall would have 120 days to gather those names, according to the handbook.
Of course, there are a number of steps that have to take place even before then. The group, called Residents for Honest Government, behind the recall of San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Sam Allevato has already accomplished one by serving him with a notice about its intent to recall him.
The “recallee” then has seven days to file a no-more-than-200-word reply on why he or she should not be recalled, according to the handbook.
The proponents then need to publish their intent to recall the target in a newspaper of general circulation, according to the handbook.
They can then format their petition, which must adhere to strict rules provided by the Registrar of Voters, which has to sign off on the forms before any petitions can be circulated.
Upon submission of the signatures, the Registrar’s office will examine and certify them, the handbook states. If certified, the recall election is scheduled. Candidates may also come forward to offer themselves as a replacement should the recallee get the boot.