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Gov. Michael Dunleavy speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 16, 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Alaska's Supreme Court ruled Friday that the recall campaign to oust Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy is legal and may proceed, Reuters reports.

The big picture: The governor's political opponents, who are leading what they say is a bipartisan campaign, argue that Dunleavy has abused his power and is unfit for office.

  • Recall supporters cite allegations that Dunleavy illegally used his budget veto to punish judges for abortion-rights rulings and violated ethics laws by using state funds for partisan campaign purposes, per Reuters.
  • To qualify for a recall election on the Alaska ballot, campaigners must garner petition signatures totaling 10% of votes cast in the previous statewide election and, subsequently, get signatures totaling 25% of the votes cast, per Reuters.

What they're saying: The court said that voters will determine whether Dunleavy is fit for office.

  • "The people asked to sign petitions must decide whether the allegations are serious enough to warrant a recall election; each voter in the voting booth must decide whether the allegations are serious enough to warrant removal from office," the opinion said.

The other side: Dunleavy, who has about 17 months left in his term, said in a statement that decision will subject officials to "baseless, expensive, and distracting recall elections by their political opponents," per Reuters.

Go deeper

By the numbers: Who can be recalled

Expand chart
Re-created from Ballotpedia; Map: Axios Visuals

Gov. Gavin Newsom defeated the effort to recall him earlier this week — but there are 10 other states besides California allowing recalls of any elected state official.

The big picture: Officials across the U.S. have come under extra scrutiny for how they've handled the coronavirus and the 2020 elections in each state.

Sen. Padilla: Extreme weather events can change political discourse

Photo: Axios

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) said at an Axios event Friday that extreme weather events may create political momentum to respond to climate change.

Driving the news: The deadly ice storm in Texas this winter that caused widespread power outages prompted Padilla to reach out to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to find ways to invest in the electrical grid, the California senator said.

Sep 17, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Police overhaul measure back on ballot as Minneapolis voters head to polls

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Early voting begins in Minneapolis this morning, with a consequential question on the future of the police department back on the ballot.

Driving the news: In an eleventh hour ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court overruled a Hennepin County judge's decision to strike the police charter amendment from the ballot over concerns that the language was too vague.

Why it matters: Question 2, which proposes replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety agency that could include officers "if necessary," could fundamentally change public safety in Minneapolis by removing the minimum officer requirement and giving the City Council more say in police policies.

  • Supporters had argued that the judge's intervention subverted the will of the 20,000-plus voters who signed a petition to get the measure on the ballot.

What they're saying: Both supporters and critics of the proposal applauded the court's ruling.

  • "Voters can rejoice that their voice, their civic engagement, and their votes matter," a statement from the "yes" campaign read.
  • Mayor Jacob Frey, who opposes the measure, said the court made "the right call," saying residents "deserve the opportunity to weigh in this fall and bring this debate to a close so we can move forward with clarity for our residents' safety."

Between the lines: The fight over the measure is expected to attract national attention and major spending on both sides — opponents are launching their first TV ad.

  • That battle could impact turnout and the outcome of other local contests, including the mayor's race and competitive City Council match-ups.
  • Questions on city governance and rent control, as well as the Park Board and Board of Estimate and Taxation races, are also on the ballot.

Zoom out: It's not just Minneapolis. Early voting begins in dozens of municipalities and school districts across the state today.

  • Voters in St. Paul pick a mayor, school board members and face a rent control question of their own.
  • Contests elsewhere cover city government, school boards, tax levies and other local ballot questions.

Be smart: Absentee ballots can be cast in person, often at an early vote center or local election office, or by mail. Click the links for early voting sites across Hennepin and Ramsey counties.