Recall petitions fall short

City of Ely Mayor Melody Van Camp holds up a copy of all the recall signatures inside her office and business Sew Krazy.

City of Ely Mayor Melody Van Camp holds up a copy of all the recall signatures inside her office and business Sew Krazy.

The recall attempt for all five Ely City Council members and the City of Ely’s Mayor officially failed to get enough verifiable signatures to move forward according to the Nevada Secretary of State’s office.

All five petitions for the council members as well as a sixth petition for the Mayor were found to have an “insufficient” amount of signatures from verified voters in an email sent from the Secretary of State’s office to the County Clerk on Jan. 16.

The petitions, which were submitted in December, attempted to start a recall election for city councilmen Bruce Setterstrom, Sam Hansen, Dale Derbidge, Marty Westland, former city councilman Randy Lee and Mayor Melody Van Camp. In order to to successfully start a recall election for each person, the petitioners needed to gather a minimum of signatures equal to 25 percent of the total voters in the election for that candidate. That number came out to be 215 required signatures for Setterstrom, Lee and Hansen and 198 signatures for Derbidge, Westland and Van Camp.

According to the Certificate of Results issued by the Secretary of State’s office, the petitions for Hansen, Lee and Setterstrom failed to have enough verified signatures, with 194, 201, and 182 respectively.

As for the other three petitions regarding Derbidge, Westland and Van Camp, the Certificate of Results states “none of the signatures can be verified.” The lack of verification comes from the Clerk’s Office no longer having the voting records of the 2011 election in which Derbidge, Westland and former Mayor Jon Hickman were elected.

More than enough signatures were found to be “valid” for the petitions regarding Derbidge and Westland, meaning the signers were registered voters in White Pine County at the time of the election, but according to Article 2, Section 9 of the Nevada Constitution, they cannot be counted unless they can be verified as actually having voted in the election.

Mayor Van Camp said that she was pleased with the results but otherwise had no further comment.

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