Recall petition verified; commission to vote on election next week

Ben Ezzell

ENID, Okla. — The petition calling for a recall election of Ward 3 City Commissioner Ben Ezzell was found sufficient by the city clerk Friday.

City Clerk Alissa Lack found 87 signatures sufficient, City Attorney Carol Lahman said; 69 were needed for the recall election to be held, 30% of the votes in Ward 3’s last contested election in 2013.

The group Enid Freedom Fighters submitted the petition to the city clerk on Aug. 4.

Lack disqualified 69 of the 204 total signatures for not being those of eligible Ward 3 voters — the most being 48 of the 94 signees whom petition circulators both didn’t know and didn’t contact in the home, Lahman said.

“The city clerk was not convinced that their affirmation was sufficient to show that people who walked up and said they’re Ward 3 voters was enough,” Lahman said.

Enid city commissioners will now vote Aug. 18 to approve a ward election to be held in November.

Aug. 19 would be the latest a ballot item can be submitted for the Nov. 3 election, as Garfield County Election Board requires a 75-day notice of a ballot item prior to an election.

A notice of sufficiency will be filed the Enid News & Eagle on Tuesday for protesters to file to object in district court within 10 days. Those 10 days are not contingent on the city approving the election, Lahman said.

Candidates can file for the November election to fill Ezzell’s seat from Aug. 24-26.

Having served the maximum two terms, Ezzell’s term expires in May, and an election to fill the seat will be held in February.

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Ewald is copy editor and city reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @oualexewald.

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