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 city of Taunton with more than six months remaining in the term for which he was elected may be recalled therefrom by the registered voters of the city of Taunton as hereinafter provided.
SECTION 2. Any five hundred or more voters may file with the city clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer whose recall is sought and a statement of the grounds of recall. At least fifty names of voters shall be from each of the wards into which the city is divided. The city clerk shall thereupon deliver to the voters making such affidavit petition blanks demanding such recall, printed forms of which he shall keep available. The blanks shall be issued by the city clerk with his signature and official seal attached thereto. They shall be dated, shall be addressed to the municipal council, shall contain the names of all persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the office from which such recall is sought and the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit, and they shall demand the election of a successor to said office. A copy of the affidavit shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the city clerk. The recall petitions shall be returned and filed with the city clerk within twenty days following the date of the filing of the affidavit, signed by at least fifteen percent of the voters and containing their names and addresses; provided, however, that not more than twenty-five percent of the total number shall be from any one ward.
The city clerk shall, within twenty-four hours of receipt of such petition, submit them to the board of registrars of voters who shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures that are names of voters of the city of Taunton.
SECTION 3. If the petition shall be certified by the city clerk to be sufficient, said clerk shall forthwith submit the same with his certificate to the municipal council. Upon its receipt of the certificate, said municipal council shall forthwith give written notice of such petition and certificate to the officer whose recall is sought. If said officer does not resign his office within five days after delivery of such notice, the municipal council shall order an election to be held not less than sixty nor more than ninety days after the date of the city clerk's certificate of the sufficient petition. If, however, any other city election is to occur within one hundred days after the date of such certificate, said municipal council shall hold the recall election on the date of such other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall proceed as provided in this act, and the ballots for candidates shall, notwithstanding a recall provision to the contrary, be counted.
SECTION 4. Any officer whose recall is sought may not be a candidate to succeed himself in the recall election. The nomination of candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of same shall be in accordance with the provision of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided herein.
SECTION 5. Ballots used in a recall election shall state the following propositions in the order indicated:
For the recall of (name of officer)
Against the recall of (name of officer)
Adjacent to each proposition, there shall be a place to vote for either of the said propositions. After the proposition shall appear the word "candidates" and the names of candidates nominated as required in section forty-two of chapter fifty-four of the General Laws. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. If a majority of votes on the question is in the negative, the ballots for candidates need not be counted, except as provided in section three.
SECTION 6. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If he is not recalled in the election, he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided herein.
If the incumbent is recalled in the election, he shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of his successor, who shall hold office for the remainder of 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 vacated.
SECTION 7. No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within three months after he takes office or, in the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least six months after the election at which his recall was submitted to the voters.
SECTION 8. This act shall be submitted for acceptance to the voters of the city of Taunton at the next municipal election in the form of the following question which shall be placed upon the official ballot to be used in said city at said election:- "Shall an act passed by the general court in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-three, entitled 'An Act providing for the recall of elected officials in the city of Taunton', be accepted "
If a majority of the votes to said question is in the affirmative, said act shall take effect, but not otherwise.