It's a hefty stack to pour through. Organizers in Ward One gathered 900 more petition signatures than they needed to hold a special election.
"I believe that they might have a successful petition here although the signatures are actually verified by the county registrar of voters,” says Roberta Gafford, Bakersfield City Clerk.
“So we're waiting to hear the outcome."
Bakersfield City Council required 1,220 signatures to have an election to replace former city councilman turned Assemblyman Rudy Salas, but they got 2,120.
The city turned the petition over to the county registrar's office to match up each signature with their voter registration card.
Roberta Gafford, Bakersfield City Clerk
"Once the petitions are considered valid, the city council has the opportunity and the obligation to adopt a resolution calling for a special election,” Gafford says. “It is anticipated if that happens it will be called for June 4, 2013.”
Petition organizer Marvin Dean helped gather hundreds of signatures. He held a press conference in downtown Bakersfield Wednesday afternoon and plans to run for city council if there is a special election.
"I feel that the two years remaining ought to be given the right for the people who live out there to make that decision,” Dean says. “Not some other city council members from other wards, their citizens elected them, we should have the same right."
Dean was openly challenged by another potential city council candidate at the conference.
If a special election is called, the candidate nomination process would start next month and would end in March.
The city believes the petition signatures could all be verified by next Wednesday. A special election could cost around $100,000, which would come out of the city's general fund.