Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Any holder of an elective office in the town of Oak Bluffs with more than six months remaining in the term of the office, may be recalled, and removed therefrom by the qualified voters of said town in the manner provided for herein.
SECTION 2. One hundred or more qualified voters may make and file with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. Said town clerk shall thereupon deliver to the ten persons first named on such affidavit a sufficient number of petition blanks demanding such recall. These forms, available from the town clerk, may be completed by printing or typewriter and they shall contain the names of the ten persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person sought to be recalled, the office from which recall is sought, and the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit. They shall demand the election of a successor to the office and they shall be dated, signed and sealed by the town clerk. Said recall petition shall be returned to the office of the town clerk not later than three o'clock in the afternoon on or before the first work day following twenty days after the date they are issued, signed by at least twenty percent of the total number of qualified persons registered to vote in the town and to every such signature shall be added the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number, if any. Such signatures need not all be on one paper. One of the ten persons to whom the recall petition forms is issued shall make an affidavit on each page that the statements therein contained are true, and that each signature appended to the petition is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.
The town clerk shall, within one work day following the day of such filing with the office of the town clerk, submit the recall petition forms to the board of registrars of voters which shall, within five work days after the day of receipt, certify in writing thereon the number of signatures which are those of qualified voters as of the date of the most recent town election. The board of registrars of voters, upon the completion of their certification, shall return the recall petition forms to the town clerk.
SECTION 3. If said recall petition forms shall be certified by the board of registrars of voters to contain at least twenty percent of the qualified persons registered to vote, the town clerk shall immediately give notice, in writing, to the elected officer whose recall is sought by sending to said officer a copy of the affidavit and the recall petition form together with notice of the number of qualified voters certified by the board of registrars of voters who signed the recall petition forms and the total number of qualified voters in the town as of the most recent town election.
If the officer to whom notice is directed by the town clerk does not resign the office within five days following receipt of the aforesaid notice from the town clerk, the town clerk shall give notice in writing to the board of selectmen not later than one work day following the expiration of the foregoing five days. The board of selectmen shall order a special election to be held not less than sixty nor more than ninety days after the receipt of notice from the town clerk as aforesaid. If, however, a regular town election is to be held within one hundred days of receipt by the board of selectmen of notice from the town clerk, the recall election shall be held at such time and in conjunction with such regular election. If a vacancy occurs in the office for any reason after a recall election has been ordered by the board of selectmen, the recall election shall nevertheless proceed as provided for herein, but only the ballots for candidates need be counted.
SECTION 4. An officer whose recall is sought may be a candidate to succeed himself in the event the question of recall is voted in the affirmative. The number of signatures of qualified voters required to place the name of a candidate on the official ballot for use at a recall election shall not be less than twenty-five. The publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the recall election shall be in accordance with the General Laws regulating elections, unless otherwise provided.
SECTION 5. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If then reelected, he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term subject to recall as before, except as provided in this section. If not reelected in the recall election, he shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of his successor, who shall hold office during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within five days after receiving notification of his election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office vacant.
SECTION 6. The ballots used at the recall election shall submit the following proposition in the order indicated:
For the recall of (name of officer).
Against the recall of (name of officer).
Immediately at the right of each proposition there shall be a square in which the voter, by making a cross mark (X) may vote for either of such propositions. Under the propositions shall appear the word "candidates" and the directions for the voters required by law, and beneath the word "candidates" shall be the names of candidates nominated in accordance with the provisions of law. If a majority of the votes cast is against the recall, the votes for the candidates need not be counted. If a majority of the votes cast is in favor of the recall, the officer shall be deemed to be recalled and the ballots for candidates shall then be counted. The candidate receiving the higher number of votes shall be declared elected. If the officer is recalled, he shall be deemed removed upon certification of the election results by the town clerk. The candidate receiving the highest vote and therefore elected, shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term of the officer removed.
SECTION 7. No recall affidavit shall be filed against an officer within three months after his election, nor, in the case of an officer elected in a recall election, until three months after that election. No recall shall be filed against an officer subjected to a recall election and not thereby recalled until at least six months after the election at which his recall was not approved by the qualified voters.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect upon its passage.