Recall Petition Primer

Yes, there is a Recall Petition campaign in Austin happening right now. Although, this isn’t the first time there has been a citizen-led initiative to recall a City Council Member, it is the first time that the Mayor and five Council Members are included in one recall campaign. Since the recall campaign process is complex, we want to share some basic information to help you better understand the process. We hope this recall petition primer helps inspire you to join our campaign.

Who is being recalled and why?

The Recall Petition seeks to recall Mayor Stephen Adler and Council members in the following districts: 1, 3, 5, 8 and 9. They are in order – Natasha Harper-Madison (D1), Sabino “Pio” Renteria (D3), Ann Kitchen (D5), Paige Ellis (D8) and Kathie Tovo (D9).

We are recalling each of these individuals for endangering the health, safety and the welfare of citizens and local businesses; for the mismanagement of public policies and resources that have eroded the Austin brand and decreased affordability; and for catering to special interests which reduces the quality of life for residents and visitors.

We are not recalling the other five city council members – Delia Garza (D2), Greg Casar (D4), Jimmy Flannigan (D6), Leslie Pool (D7) and Alison Alter (D10) because they are up for re-election in November 2020. We encourage you to vote them out at that time if you so desire.

Who can sign the petition?

Any Austin resident who is registered to vote can sign the Recall Mayor Adler petition unless they live in the ETJ (Extra Territory Jurisdiction) region. For more information on the ETJ, please visit our FAQs page. In order to sign the recall petition for a council person, you must be registered to vote in that council person’s district. For example, if you want to recall Ann Kitchen (D5), you must be registered to vote in District 5.

How do you fill out the recall petition form?

You need to write in the date that you sign the petition, print your full first and last name , your email address, your full mailing address, your zip code, county and your birth date, or voter ID#.

We ask that you fill out your full legal name. Please do not use nicknames or initials. The email address is the only optional piece of information. We do require a County. It can be Travis, Hays or Williamson, but you must be a citizen of Austin and have Mayor Adler as your Mayor to sign the recall petition for him. To sign the recall petition for a council person, you must live in his or her district.

Are there rules for circulators?

Currently, we are using volunteers to circulate the petitions in the targeted district. The person gathering the signatures is called a “circulator”. The circulators must take responsibility for the petition forms they use to gather signatures. They they must also reside and be registered to vote in Austin to recall Mayor Adler and reside in the district of the council member for which they are circulating the recall petition. Circulators must watch each person sign the petition and are responsible for getting the completed petition notarized. We have volunteer notaries that will to notarize the petition documents for circulators. Contact us for more information on that process.  There is also a circulator video training at http://ourtownaustin.org/circulate-a-petition/.

How many signatures do we need for the recall petitions to be successful?

Austin Mayor Steve Adler

Mayor Stephen Adler – we need 70,000 qualified signatures for his recall to be successful. (This number represents the required 10% of registered voters in Austin.)

Natasha Harper-Madison

Natasha Harper-Madison, Councilwoman for District 1. We need 6,000 qualified signatures for her recall to be successful – or 10% of the registered voters in District 1.

Sabino “Pio” Renteria, Councilman for District 3. We need 6,000 qualified signatures for his recall to be successful. This equals 10% of the registered voters in District 3.

Ann Kitchen

Ann Kitchen, Councilwoman for District 5. We need 7,500 qualified signatures for her recall to be successful. This is equivalent to 10% of the registered voters in District 5.

Paige Ellis, Councilwoman for District 8. We need 7000 qualified signatures for her recall to be successful, which is 10% of the registered voters in District 8.

Kathie Tovo, Councilwoman for District 9. We need 9000 qualified signatures for her recall to be successful. This is equivalent to 10% of the voters in District 9.

Is there anything else you need to know about signing the Recall petition?

Yes! You can join the recall effort by volunteering to circulate petitions, notarize petition forms, or assist us with your clerical skills. If you haven’t signed a petition yet, you can check our calendar page for events and locations to sign the petition. We do our best to update it regularly. If you have questions about the petition signing process, please email us at voter@ourtownaustin.org. To get a volunteer to connect with you to get the petition signed, please register on our sign the petition page.  

Another very important way you can help this effort is with your financial support. This campaign is like any political campaign. It requires funds to manage this website, social media pages, create outreach advertising, and all the other business requirements of a political campaign. Please consider giving of your time and financial resources to make this important change in our local government. As always, know that we appreciate your donations and support to this effort. And remember, the more funds we receive, the faster we can make an impact on our town.

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