Concerns Linger Over Possible Harassment Of Petition Signers

The Recall Mayor Suttle Committee has asked the other side to agree on a common set of guidelines when they're together on Election Day, but Forward Omaha, the group against the recall, says it's not going to play into their game.

The Recall Mayor Suttle Committee spread itself around outside Rosenblatt Stadium before, during and after the Omaha Nighthawks game Thursday night gathering signatures. Organizers aren't saying how many people signed the petitions or what they've collected eight days into the campaign, other than they remain confident they can reach the goal of 27,000 signatures of registered Omaha voters by mid-November.

The anti-recall group, Forward Omaha, wasn't out there monitoring the process, but will be out in force on Election Day. The Recall Suttle Committee continues to express concern over a flyer by the other side offering $150 for "persuasion poll workers,” which in their mind isn't much of a leap to intimidation.

“Around the country there is a phenomenon of petition blockers,” says attorney Joshua Weir. “These petition blockers use intimidation, sound amplification devices and they will physically get in the way of the petitioner and someone who wants to sign the petition."

The anti-recall group calls this a desperate attempt to revive a "floundering effort,” telling Channel 6 News what it said Thursday remained the same Friday, it will only observe petitioners to make sure they follow the rules.

“We will not be engaging any petitioners," says Noelle Obermeyer of Forward Omaha.” She says they aren't "petition blockers" and aren't going to play into the recall committee's games.

"Just use common sense and good manners,” says Jeremy Aspen of the Recall Mayor Suttle Committee. “If we do that alone, our circulators will be in the right in every single case."

The recall group says how they were outside the Nighthawks game is what we'll see on Election Day. They won't approach the voters, petitioners will come to the voters if approached. The election commissioner recommends no yelling, touching supporters or supplies, interrupting or blocking paths.

While the anti-recall group appears to agree with the general sense of this, organizers aren't going to pledge to anything on someone else's terms.


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