The petition for recall application begun by a Grovetown resident last week to remove council member and longtime former mayor Dennis Trudeau, lacked more than 20 eligible signatures in order to take the next step.
According to Columbia County Board of Elections Director Nancy Gay, only 88 of the 115 signatures were valid to sign the petition. A total of six were found to be registered outside the city of Grovetown, 17 were not registered to vote, and four signatures came from people registered to vote after the November 2015 Municipal General Election.
Gay said from here, the process will start from the beginning with a new set of 100 signatures.
In order to sign the petition, voters must have been eligible to vote during the November 2015 election, when Trudeau was elected to office as well as live within the Grovetown city limits.
The petition for recall application was initiated by Allen Transou, a Grovetown resident who says he has grown tired of the current system of leadership. On the petition application, Transou accused Trudeau of violating his oath of office and misconduct of office. The accusations stem from a series of events in which Transou says Trudeau has acted inappropriately.
Transou said he was disappointed with the 17 signatures that were not even registered to vote, as he said before each person signed he specifically asked if they were registered to vote.
“I was expecting one or two but not 17,” Transou said of the ineligible signatures.
However Transou said he still plans to start a new petition next week.
Transou will have an opportunity to compile 100 signatures and turn it into the board of elections office. The staff will then have five business days to verify and validate the signatures on the application. If the application is verified, Transou will then receive the actual petition for recall and need a little more than 1,400 signatures, which is 30 percent of Grovetown’s eligible voters in November 2015. He will have 30 days to collect the signatures. Gay will then have 30 days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, to verify those signatures.
If the petition is found to be valid, a recall election will be held asking voters whether Trudeau should be recalled. If he is recalled, then a special election will be held. The city will be held responsible for funding the election unless it is called in conjunction with an election on a countywide issue.