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 elected office in the town of Hopedale may be recalled therefrom by voters of the town as hereinafter provided.
SECTION 2. Any ten residents who are registered voters of the town of Hopedale may initiate a recall petition by filing an affidavit with the town clerk. The affidavit shall contain the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds of recall. Said town clerk shall, within five days, certify the number of signatures which are the names of registered voters. Upon certification, the town clerk shall provide a sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding such recall to the voters who made the affidavit, printed forms of which shall be kept on hand. The blanks shall be issued by the town clerk and bear his signature and official seal; the blank petitions shall also be dated, addressed to the selectmen and shall contain the names of all persons to whom issued, the number of blanks so issued, the name of the person sought to be recalled, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit, and demand the election of a successor to such office. Said recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk on or before five o'clock P.M. on the twenty-first day after the filing of the affidavit. In the event the twenty-first day is a Saturday, Sunday or Holiday, the petition may be filed on the next business day. The petition shall be signed by fifteen percent of the voters before being returned and filed. Every signature must be accompanied by the signer's place of residence, including the street and number. The registrar shall forthwith certify the number of signatures who are registered voters.
SECTION 3. If the petition shall be found and certified by said town clerk to be sufficient, he shall submit the same with his certificate to the selectmen without delay and the selectmen shall immediately give written notice to the officer of the receipt of the certificate and shall, if the officer sought to be recalled does not resign within five days thereafter, thereupon order an election to be held on a date fixed by them, not less than sixty days and not more than ninety days after the date of the town clerk's certificate that a sufficient petition is filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within one hundred days after the date of said certificate, said selectmen may, in their discretion, postpone the holding of said recall election to the date of such other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been so ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.
SECTION 4. Any officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed himself. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election, and the conduct of the same, shall all be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided by this act.
SECTION 5. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If the officer is not recalled he shall continue in the office for the remainder of his unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided in this act. If the officer is recalled in the recall election, he shall be deemed removed upon the election of his successor who shall hold office during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to take office within five days after receiving notification of his election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office vacant.
SECTION 6. Ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following propositions 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 the said propositions. Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates", the directions to voters required by section forty-two of chapter fifty-four of the General Laws beneath this the names of candidates nominated as hereinbefore provided. 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 provided that at least twenty-five percent of those registered to vote do vote in the election. If a majority of votes on the question is in the negative, the ballot for candidates need not be counted.
SECTION 7. No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within six months after he takes office, nor, in the case of an officer subject 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. No person who has been removed from an office or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against him, shall be appointed to any town office within two years after such removal or such resignation.