On Friday, the City of Austin's Clerk invalidated the petition to recall District 5 City Council Member, Ann Kitchen.
The group "Austin4All" turned the petition in on February 19. They had 5,000+ verified signatures. That's more than the 4,848 needed. City Code requires 10% of the registered voters in a district for the recall petition. Austin4all also had the statement that was needed outlining why it was being filed.
But what they didn't have according to the City Clerk, is the a affidavit swearing that what was being turned in was in fact true.
The Co-Director of the Austin4All Pac, Rachel Kania, says they followed all of the rules and that she consulted with legal counsel before turning it petition in. She adds that even though the word notary is on the form itself, there's nothing in Austin city code that mentions needing one.
"We did have the affidavit on there, there is no legal requirement to have a notary signature on each form," Kania says, adding, "this really is just a politically motivated calculation on City Hall's part to blatantly ignore and disrespect the Austin District 5 voters."
Council Member Kitchen says she is pleased with the decision, and she believes the campaign was not transparent from the beginning, "What's frustrating," she says, "is that a group outside the district could run a dishonest campaign going through the district telling people things that are not true deliberately misleading people. I find that to be a a very troubling, very very troubling practice."
Kania says Austin4All will fight the decision, and if the City Clerk doesn't validate the petition,they will take their case to court.