The recall attempt against a pair of Manteca Unified School District trustees has gained national attention.
On Tuesday the Wisconsin-based nonpartisan political website Ballotpedia – which employs an editorial team of more than 30 researchers to compile information about political happenings across the nation – named the school board recall efforts against Ashley Drain and Sam Fant in their summer list of the Top 5 recall efforts currently underway.
“Three board members were targeted by recall efforts related to allegations of election fraud in the Manteca Unified School District in California. Claims that Alexander Bronson and Ashley Drain lied about their addresses on candidate forms and did not actually reside in the districts they represent – which is required by law – led to the arraignment of both officials,” the site stated. “Sam Fant is embroiled in the election fraud allegations, but a recall attempt against him also involves his reaction to a school clerk’s Facebook photos reportedly featuring President Obama with a fly on his head and the clerk’s family wearing Confederate flag clothing at a “Dukes of Hazzard”-themed birthday party.”
According to Ballotpedia, the organization is currently tracking 137 recalls across the nation. Only 12 of those have actually gone to the ballot box, and 9 of those were approved by voters.
As of June 15 there were 33 recall efforts underway in California – the most in the nation. Approximately one-third – 51 of the 137 targeted sitting members – are against school board.
Last week when the Manteca Unified School Board met to appoint a provisionary trustee to serve the next 18 months of resigned trustee Alexander Bronson’s term, former board member and longtime Manteca educator Ed Fichtner delivered updated papers to Fant concerning the recall. Unlike when they were initially delivered to him in a public forum, Fichtner simply walked up to the dais and handed Fant an envelope before proceeding to the lectern to speak on a different, but related topic – backhandedly defending the school clerk referenced by Ballotpedia.
Drain’s paperwork had been served previously, and a recall effort against her was announced around the same time that Bronson resigned from his position.
Both are accused of not living at the addresses listed in their nomination paperwork. Fant is tied to both in the case because he was listed by both candidates as somebody that can affirm the information listed – one of only two spaces that were provided for such verification.