Benton Harbor Area Schools board recall, Michigan (2010)

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A vote about whether to recall Dan McGinnis, Allene Smith and Lue Buchana from their positions on the Benton Harbor Area Schools school board took place on February 23, 2010.

All three school board members retained their seats.[1]

Lue Buchana:

  • Keep: 552
  • Recall: 531 Defeatedd

Dan McGinnis (School board president):

  • Keep: 574
  • Recall: 510 Defeatedd

J. Arlene Smith:

  • Keep: 579
  • Recall: 512 Defeatedd

Recall efforts were initiated after a school board vote to privatize transportation services.[2]

On July 13, 2009 the Berrien County Election Commission approved the language for petitions to recall three school board members. The petitions were filed in June 2009 by Ronnie Brown, president of the district's service workers union. An earlier attempt was made by Virginia Huddleston, a district employee, but the language was struck down.[3]

Voter turn-out in the recall election was just 4%. The cost of the special election to the school district was approximately $14,000.[4]

The unsuccessful Benton Harbor recall effort was one of several similar efforts in 2009-2010 started by union organizers to punish school board members who voted to privatize some school functions as a way to save money.[5]

Path to the ballot

To force the recall vote, recall organizers had to collect a minimum of 426 valid signatures on recall petitions for each of the three recall targets.

See also