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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR RECALL ELECTIONS IN THE TOWN OF UXBRIDGE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1.  Article 3 of the charter of the town of Uxbridge, which is on file in the office of the archivist of the commonwealth, as provided in section 12 of chapter 43B of the General Laws, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

Section 10:  Recall of Elected Officials

(a)  Application – An official who holds an elected town office and has more than 6 months remaining in the official’s term of office may be recalled from the office by the voters in the manner provided in this section.

(b)  Recall Petitions – A recall affidavit, signed by not less than 50 voters in each of the precincts into which the town is divided, shall be filed with the town clerk and shall contain the name of the official whose recall is sought. The board of registrars of voters shall, not more than 7 days after the filing of the affidavit, certify the names of voters whose signatures are affixed to the affidavit. Not more than 7 days after the certification, the town clerk shall issue petition blanks demanding the recall by notifying the 10 voters who have been identified as the lead petitioners or, if no such lead petitioners have been identified, then the first 10 voters named on the affidavit of the availability of the petition blanks. The town clerk shall keep printed petition blank forms available. The petition blanks shall be addressed to the board of selectmen and shall contain the typewritten or printed names of the first 10 voters named on the affidavit or the 10 voters who were otherwise identified as the lead petitioners, as applicable. The petition blanks shall demand the election of a successor to the office and shall be dated and signed by the town clerk by hand or electronically. A copy of the petition blanks shall be entered into the record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk.

The recall petitions shall be returned to the office of the town clerk not more than 14 days after the date they are issued and shall be signed by not less than 20 per cent of the qualified voters of the town as of the date that the affidavit was filed with the town clerk.  Not more than 5 days after the recall petitions have been returned to the office of the town clerk, the town clerk shall submit the petitions to the board of registrars of voters who shall, not more than 5 days after receiving the petitions, certify the names of the voters who signed the petitions.

(c)  Recall Elections – If the petitions are certified by the board of registrars of voters as having a sufficient number of voter signatures, the town clerk shall immediately submit the petitions and the certification thereof to the board of selectmen. Upon receipt of the certified petitions, the board of selectmen shall immediately give written notice of the petitions to the official whose recall is sought. If the official does not resign from office within 7 days after delivery of the notice, the board of selectmen shall order a special election to be held not less than 64 days nor more than 90 days after the date of the certification of the petitions. If a regular annual town election is to be held not less than 64 days nor more than 90 days after the date of the certification of the petition, the recall election shall be held in conjunction with that election and not at a special election. If a vacancy occurs in the position from which the official is being recalled after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.

(d)  Nomination of Candidates – Unless an official whose recall is sought requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place the name of the official on the ballot without nomination and the official shall be a candidate to succeed the same office.  Unless otherwise provided in this section, the nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the election shall be in conformity with the laws relating to town elections generally.

(e)  Propositions on the Ballot –

(1)  Ballots used at the recall election shall state the proposition in the order indicated:

For the recall of (name of official)

Against the recall of (name of official)

Adjacent to each proposition shall be a place to vote for that proposition.

(2)  After the propositions shall appear the word “candidates” and the names arranged alphabetically.

(3)  If a majority of the votes cast is in favor of the recall and not less than 25 per cent of the total number of qualified voters as of the date of the most recent town election have participated in the recall election, the official shall be deemed to be recalled.  If the official is recalled, the ballots for candidates shall then be counted and the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.

(f)  Officeholder – The official whose recall is sought shall continue to hold office and perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If not then recalled, the official shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as provided in subsection (g).

If the official is recalled, the office shall be deemed vacant upon the certification of the election results and the candidate who receives the highest number of votes shall then serve for the balance of the unexpired term.

(g)  Repeat of Recall Petition – No recall affidavit shall be filed:

(i)  against an official within 6 months after taking office; and

    (ii)  in the case of an official previously subject to a recall election and not recalled by such election, until not less than 6 months after the election at which the recall was submitted to the voters.

SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, January 2, 2019.