Dunleavy recall event Fairbanks

People sign the application to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a second Fairbanks event on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019 at Pioneer Park.

Fairbanks organizers of the Recall Dunleavy group held a second signature-gathering event Monday afternoon at Pioneer Park, gaining the names of a slow but steady stream of interested residents.

According to Fairbanks coordinator Aaron Welterlen, the first people began showing up around 3:30 p.m., about half an hour before the event was set to begin.

The Fairbanks effort garnered approximately 3,100 signatures at its launch event last Thursday, with the statewide effort bringing in about 10,000 signatures total that day.

Events were held across the state over the weekend, but official numbers have not been released yet. Welterlen noted that each location will be reporting its official numbers soon and that an updated count is likely to be released later this week.

"We're trying to get all the sheets together to be tallied," Welterlen said, noting he has been out of town since Friday.

The Monday event was significantly smaller than the event held last Thursday, but a group of eight or nine volunteers was consistently busy taking signatures from a steady stream of individuals as a light rain fell on parkgoers and interested signers.

A sign-up sheet made its way around Fairbanks on Friday, finding itself at HooDoo Brewing Co. later in the day. Since then, this is only the second official Fairbanks event that has been held.

"There's lots of demand. There's lots of requests for petitions, questions like 'Who has the petition?' 'Where can I sign up?'," Welterlen said. "We're trying to control them a little bit, but yes we'd like to get the word out and get as many people to sign as humanly possible."

The group will be running a booth at the Tanana Valley State Fair Tuesday through Sunday this week and will be holding another event Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at Pioneer Park.

"We're hoping to have a location where people can come sign in town," Welterlen said. "Other events are still to be determined."

The recall process in Alaska requires a number of specific steps, the first of which is to gather 10% of the number of voters who participated in the last election — 28,501 based on the last election's voter turnout. Once approved by the Division of Elections, organizers must start over and obtain the signatures of 25% of the total number who voted in the last election. An election would be called once that total is reached.

Alaska has only seen one other organized recall effort of a governor since statehood. That occurred in 1992 and was against Gov. Walter J. Hickel and Lt. Gov. Jack Coghill. The effort stalled.

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

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