Angry voters in more than a dozen Alaska towns can now sign the petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy. However, there are plenty of communities across the state where voters do not have that option right now.
Recall Dunleavy organizers scheduled events for Thursday and throughout the weekend to take signatures from those angry with the governor.
In Southeast Alaska, volunteers in Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Ketchikan and Haines have or will hold these events. The island town of Wrangell does not have one planned.
Organizer Meda DeWitt lives in Anchorage, but she has roots in Wrangell. (She is a descendant of Charlie Jones, or Chief Shakes, as well as Tillie Paul Tamaree. Both were instrumental in gaining voting rights for Alaska Natives.) So, she certainly wants to see the town be a part of the process.
“I would love to see a full turn out in Wrangell to have a signature gathering there,” DeWitt says. “And other than that, every single community that joins just fills my heart with gratitude.”
DeWitt is proud of the grass roots campaign, which consists of over 1,200 volunteers. But that means she is relying on those in each community to step up to gather the signatures. She’s still looking for someone in Wrangell and many small communities across Alaska.
“For those who weren’t able to participate in this, we’re still going strong,” she says.
You may be wondering, in the year of 2019, why can’t the petition just be online? Alaska Statue says so.
“It’s part of how we engage in the political system in Alaska, and it’s part of the written law,” DeWitt says. “But also I think that doing it on paper helps prevent fraud and it also gets people out and engaged in the democratic process.”
Organizers need to collect over 28,000 signatures to proceed to the next phrase of the recall process. DeWitt hopes to get those by mid-December. If her campaign succeeds, the next step is to collect more than 70,000 signatures.
Anyone interested in gathering signatures can find more information at recalldunleavy.org.