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Bill in city would put recall changes to voters

City voters in the 24th ward recently recalled Ald. Tom Bauer. (KWMU file photo)
City voters in the 24th ward recently recalled Ald. Tom Bauer. (KWMU file photo)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – There's an effort in St. Louis City to put new limits on recalling office-holders.

A bill working its way through City Hall would put a question to voters that asks whether to tweak the recall process.

Alderwoman Jennifer Florida says right now recall supporters can take as much time as they need to get the right number of signatures to force a recall vote. She wants to limit that time to six months.

"I don't think that having an unlimited amount of time to collect signatures is a good process," says Florida. "And in most processes, you have a window to do whatever."

The legislation would also require those gathering signatures to only use forms (or copies of forms) from the City Election Board that specifically states what the person is signing. Florida says there's no clarification in the law now, which means anyone could submit a signature on any piece of paper.

Any change that passes the Board of Aldermen, though, would still need voter approval to become law.

Voters in St. Louis's 24th Ward recently re-called Alderman Tom Bauer. The election to fill that seat is next week.

There's also an effort to recall 22nd Ward Alderman Jeffrey Boyd. Supporters of his ouster submitted signatures and, last week, the city's Election Board ruled that only a few more than half were valid. That means the supporters of recall have 20 more days to submit about 250 more valid signatures. If they don't, their effort to force a recall vote fails.