Suttle wants more time


November 29th, 2010

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Suttle will ask a court Wednesday to delay the recall's signature count (Photo Robyn Wisch)

Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle has requested more time for election officials to review recall signatures. Suttle will appear before Douglas County District Court Wednesday morning to request a delay in the signature count.

The Douglas County Election Commission has over 37,000 signatures to sort through, and many of those may be invalid.  The signatures were collected by the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee, which is seeking to throw out the mayor based on disagreements over tax hikes and fiscal policy. Suttle’s office and supporter group, Forward Omaha, says many signatures were taken from people living outside the city and are not valid. An independent review of a sample of signatures by the Omaha World Herald reported about 40% of the sample was invalid.  Suttle’s spokesperson Aida Amoura said giving election officials more time to validate the signatures will help ensure accuracy.

“We had people, members of the public, calling us the entire time those petitions were being gathered, and telling us… hey, this was improper, this was inappropriate, they didn’t do this right,” she said. “So we have kind of a right, you know, out of respect to those citizens, we’re simply asking for more time to make sure the signatures are legitimate. That’s it.”

Amoura said the lawsuit will not cost the city anything, as Suttle is paying for it privately. The Douglas County Election Commissioner, meanwhile, said he doesn’t need an extension to finish the count. Saturday is the legal deadline, Dave Phipps said, and that’s when he’ll be done. If a judge stops him from releasing the numbers, he will comply, he said. But for now, he’ll be ready to announce the results.

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