Adam Lussier, Amherst For All (left) Town Clerk Sandra Burgess (right)
As of 4:30 PM Amherst Town Clerk Sandra Burgess has certified 3,247 signatures on the Charter petition drive to put before the voters this spring the question of changing our form of local governance and the election of 9 Charter Commissioners to carry out that long overdue proposition.
The monumental task required the signatures of 15% of Amherst registered voters, or 3,215.
But Amherst For All is not exactly popping the champagne bottles and collapsing in a happy heap.
Instead they are calling for one more massive push Saturday to continue collecting signatures as a cushion against what is sure to be a challenge from pro-Town Meeting zealots.
On Monday, hopefully with hundreds of additional signatures, one of the members of the Steering Committee will sign a statement with the Town Clerk saying they are done with signature collection.
The Board of Registrars has ten days from the 12/21 date of the final submission to certify signatures and issue a Certification Report, which is December 31. Objectors wishing to challenge signatures have two "working days" from December 31st, which gives them a deadline of January 5, 2016 (because January 1, 2 and 3 are not working days) by 5:00 PM.
The hurdle for disqualifying signatures is a high one, and thus far no one in the entire history of the town has ever successfully overturned a ballot question or candidate nomination using a signature challenge.
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