The mayoral recall election in Benton Harbor is back on for November 4th. Berrien County Judge John Dewane has ruled there were enough valid petition signatures collected to force the recall, and criticized the policies of County Clerk Sharon Tyler. In his ruling, Dewane writes that the Clerk's newly adopted practice of not counting the signatures of people who have signed more than once "violates the First Amendment rights of not only the sponsor and the circulators but also the electors, including those who signed more than one time, who signed the petition sheets." Dewane notes people forget that they have signed petitions, and adds that in cases where several people are circulating the documents, even the same circulator will have a hard time remembering if someone has signed previously. He is allowing the first signatures of everyone who signed twice to be counted, bringing the total to 407, which is enough to mandate a recall. Mayor James Hightower will face City Commissioner Marcus Muhammad in the recall election.
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