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Recall of Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant to appear on December ballot

The recall campaign submitted signatures this month, needing at least 10,687 from voters in Seattle's District 3.

SEATTLE — An effort to recall Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant will appear on a single-issue ballot on Dec. 7 after organizers collected enough signatures.

The recall campaign submitted signatures this month, needing at least 10,687 from voters in Seattle's District 3. As of Tuesday, King County Elections had more than 11,350 accepted signatures, according to an elections spokesperson.

King County Elections certified the signatures Thursday.

Ballots for the election will only be sent to voters in District 3, which includes Capitol Hill, First Hill, the Central District, Madrona, Montlake and Leschi. 

The ballots will include both the charges against Sawant and her response to them. Voters will vote either "Yes" or "No."

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If recalled, the Seattle City Council would then appoint a replacement to fill out the term, according to Watkins. Sawant's current term is up in 2023.

The campaign to recall Sawant started at the tail end of summer 2020. Sawant was formally accused of misusing city funds for a "Tax Amazon" campaign, to which she later admitted wrongdoing.

The council member also unlocked Seattle City Hall for a protest and led a march to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's home. Durkan's address was previously hidden by state statute, given her prior career as a U.S. Attorney. The mayor's home was vandalized with graffiti.

"It's about holding a politician accountable," said Henry Bridger, the campaign chair, earlier in September. 

The State Supreme Court ruled the recall could move forward earlier this year, which started the clock for backers to meet next month's deadline. However, the entire process became muddled after Sawant and her supporters started gathering signatures of their own on very similar-looking petitions in an attempt to get the issue on the November ballot. The council member signed her own petition.

Sawant said the campaign's slow-walking of the petitions was an act of voter suppression.

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