SJ city councilwoman recall effort underway

March 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
An eleventh hour blitz is underway to turn out the vote in an effort to recall San Jose City Council Member Madison Nguyen.

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More than 9,000 people have already cast absentee ballots, about 29 percent of the registered voters in District 7, a neighborhood filled with bustling shopping plazas and quiet suburban-like streets southeast of downtown San Jose.

The campaign to recall Nguyen has been high profile, ostensibly over her opposition to the use of "Little Saigon" to describe a strip of Story Road filled with shops and restaurants catering to the large Vietnamese community.

Recall backers say the campaign is more than that.

"This is not about a single issue, and this is not about one ethnic group or another, it's really about accountability and the need for District 7 to have a councilwoman who's open and transparent," recall campaign spokesperson Andre Charles said.

Nguyen has been campaigning to defeat the recall.

"A lot of people that we talk with, a lot of voters that we've been knocking on doors, have been telling us over and over again that this recall is unwarranted, it's unfair, and it's really a big waste of taxpayers' money," Nguyen said.

The special election will cost San Jose $503,000.

"We're predicting between 30 to 40 percent because obviously tomorrow is still Election Day and so we do expect voters to go to the polls," registrar of voters spokesperson Elma Rosas said.

Many residents have made up their minds, both in favor of and against the recall.

"I think it's because I've been seeing a lot of signs and I read the instructions, so yes," resident Norma Ortiz said.

"I honestly think it's a waste of time; I think some people took it to heart, and I think Madison is trying her best for the community," resident Miguel Santillan said.

By the end of Election Day, it's estimated that just over 10,000 ballots will be cast.

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