VetoProtest

Members of the Fairbanks community gathered in the Golden Heart Plaza and in front of the Rabinowitz Court House in a smoky downtown Fairbanks Tuesday evening to protest budget vetoes announced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy last week. The rally was organized by local activist group the Hrrrl Scouts in partnership with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. Erin McGroarty/News-Miner

The Recall Dunleavy campaign still awaits a verdict from the state attorney general either confirming or rejecting its grounds for recalling Gov. Mike Dunleavy, but Campaign Manager Claire Pywell noted the group is not sitting idle.

"We've been hard at work verifying each of the signatures that we submitted to the Division of Elections in September and preparing for the second phase of signature collection," Pywell said.

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson gave the recall group an estimated wait time of 60 days after it turned in the 49,006 signatures on Sept. 5.

"I think that calendars out to Nov. 4," Pywell said, noting the group has not heard any update from Clarkson. "So we're working to stay busy until then, and we've certainly got enough to keep our hands full."

The group's current task involves verifying the tens of thousands of signatures gathered this August. While this is a chore officially assigned to the Division of Elections, Pywell said the group wanted to do its own count.

"It's essentially just a double-check," she said.

The verification process allows the recall workers to sift through petition signatures and contact those who can be verified to give them an update on the process.

"We go through just to know that these folks are qualified, registered voters," Pywell said. "But we also want to do our best to reach out to all of those folks once we can move into the next stage. We want them to know they can sign again."

Pywell said she was still optimistic about the level of support for the effort, noting signatures were turned in from 200 communities across the state.

This next phase will look a lot different though, she noted.

"The official petition booklets are going to be the mechanism for gathering this second stage of signatures. There will still be folks gathering signatures in a lot of different communities, but it will just be a little more officially structured," Pywell said. "We will be making sure the booklets get out to all the communities that participated before."

The group is about two-thirds of the way through the verification process.

Ultimately, Pywell said, the group isn't sure what is coming next but they are preparing for either situation.

"This process is not supposed to be easy or taken lightly," Pywell said. "As part of that we know it's quite possible that we'll see how this next phase is decided in the courts."

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.