Taking It Back

Nobody really knows how well the campaign is going for the committee attempting to recall San Jose Councilwoman Madison Nguyen. The group has been secretive about how many signatures they’ve collected so far. But what did surface this week is the number of people who have asked for the city to remove their names from the recall petition they signed.

According to City Clerk Lee Price, as many as 60 people asked that the clerk strike their names from the recall petition, which must be filed with the clerk’s office by Sept. 12 with 3,162 signatures in order to qualify for a special election ballot. State law says that anyone can withdraw their name from a petition after signing it, but only if they file a formal request for removal with the clerk’s office. That request has to be made before the deadline to file the recall petition. Once the petition is filed, the clerk will go through and remove the names of those voters who had filed formal requests with clerk, Price said. Voters do not have to give reasons for withdrawing their names. “They are confidential,” Price said. “But the proponents of the recall may review the requests to withdraw only at the time the petition qualifies or disqualifies.”

Nguyen certainly made it easy on voters who wanted to change their mind about the recall. Her campaign has been blasting District 7 mailboxes with the means to do so in postcard form—all voters have to do is sign it at the bottom and send it into the clerk’s office. “It’s been very effective,” Nguyen said.

Recent campaign finance reports show that Nguyen has pulled in double what the recall committee has raised in terms of fundraising. So she’s decided to slow down on raising money and instead has been focusing her efforts on outreach. This past weekend about 250 people joined her to walk precincts in District 7 to talk to voters about the recall. “I guess the voters are getting the other side of the story now,” Nguyen said.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. “The group has been secretive about how many signatures they’ve collected so far.”

    Wonder if Carl “BartCzar” Guardino has any involvement in the cloak of secrecy.  He can sure keep a secret… to my knowledge, we still have no particulars on the pro-BART to San Jose poll.

  2. How does the city clerk verify that the cards and letters withdrawing their signatures on the petition are valid?  Is there a notarization requirement?  Sounds like there isn’t.  So, both the petitions and the withdrawals are easy candidates for fraud.  Wow, what a system?  Was it designed by Dr. Seuss?

  3. >> Was it designed by Dr. Seuss?

    I don’t know who designed it, but is sure seems to operate like certain countries in Asia with fraudulent mock voting systems designed to make you feel like you’re voting for somethingsomeone but you’re really not and there is only one political party.

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