SECTION 1. Any holder of an office elected solely by the voters of Wenham may be recalled and removed therefrom by the qualified voters of said town as herein provided.
SECTION 2. No fewer than 50 registered voters of Wenham may initiate recall by filing with the town clerk an affidavit of intent to recall, signed under the penalties of perjury, containing the name of the officer and the office held whose recall is sought and a statement of the grounds of recall; provided however, that the vote of an elected official on a matter, other than in connection with a conflict-of-interest violation, shall not constitute valid grounds for recall; the voters themselves shall individually determine whether any other grounds listed for recall are sufficient. The town clerk shall, within 2 business days of receipt of an affidavit of intent, certify, in accordance with the standards established by section 7 of chapter 53 of the General Laws, the names of voters of the town who signed the affidavit of intent.
SECTION 3. Upon certification by the town clerk of a sufficient number of signatures, the town clerk shall, within 3 business days, notify the primary petitioner, the voter first named on such notice of intent, that copies of such petition blanks are available at the office of the town clerk. The blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with the town clerk's signature and official seal attached thereto; they shall be dated and addressed to the select board/board of selectmen and shall contain the name of the person whose recall is sought, the office from which recall is sought, the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit, and shall demand the election of a successor to such office. The names of the first ten signers of the affidavit of intent shall be listed above the voter signature lines and any instructions to signers. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk.
SECTION 4. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk and board of registrars no later than 5:00 p.m. 21 calendar days following the date the clerk notifies the primary petitioner of the availability of the petition, or the next business day if the 21st day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. The clerk shall notify the primary petitioner of the final date and hour for filing. Said recall petition shall be signed by at least 10 percent of the registered voters of Wenham as of the last annual town election, and to every signature shall be added the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number. The town clerk and board of registrars shall, within 5 business days following the date of such filing, certify in writing thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered voters in said town as of the date such affidavit was filed with the town clerk.
SECTION 5. If the petition shall be found and certified by said town clerk to be sufficient, the town clerk shall submit the certified petition to said select board/board of selectmen within 2 business days from certification of sufficient signatures and said select board/board of selectmen shall forthwith, and in no more than 5 business days, give written notice of the receipt of said certificate to said elected officer whose recall is being sought. If the officer sought to be removed does not resign within 3 business days thereafter, said select board/board of selectmen shall within 5 business days order a recall election to be held not less than 64 nor more than 90 calendar days from the date of the vote scheduling the election; provided however, that if any other town election is to occur within 100 calendar days after the date of the vote, the select board/board of selectmen may, in its discretion, place the question of recall on the ballot at such other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, but not yet been conducted, the election shall nevertheless proceed as herein provided.
SECTION 6. The nomination of all candidates, including the incumbent, 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 in this act.
SECTION 7. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election unless the elected official resigns. If the incumbent is not recalled that person shall remain in office for the remainder of the incumbent’s unexpired term, subject to recall as before. If recalled in the recall election, the incumbent shall be considered removed. The successor, upon qualification, shall hold office during the unexpired term; provided, however, that if such person is not qualified within 10 business days of said election, the position shall be deemed vacant and may be filled in accordance with applicable law.
SECTION 8. Ballots used in a recall election in said town shall submit the following proposition in the order indicated:
FOR THE RECALL OF THE [NAME OF OFFICER] (OFFICE HELD)
AGAINST THE RECALL OF THE [NAME OF OFFICER] (OFFICE HELD)
Immediately at the right of each proposition there shall be a designated space for voters to vote for either of the propositions. Just above said space, there shall appear the direction "Vote for one".
Under the proposition shall appear the word "CANDIDATES" and the direction "Vote for one" and beneath this, listed alphabetically, the names of candidates nominated as hereinbefore provided.
If a majority of the votes cast on the recall question is in favor of the recall, the elected official shall be recalled and the ballots for the candidates shall be counted. The candidate who received the highest number of votes of the special election to the vacancy shall be elected.
If a majority of the votes cast on the recall question is in the negative, the votes for candidates to fill the potential vacancy need not be counted unless a vacancy exists at the time of the election.
SECTION 9. A recall petition shall not be filed against an elected official within three months after the official has taken office. An elected official shall not be subject to a subsequent recall effort for the same specific grounds listed in the notice of intent filed for any prior recall effort.
A person who has been recalled from office, or who has resigned from office after the recall petition has been filed with the board of registrars of voters, shall not be appointed to any town office, board or committee within 3 years after the recall or resignation.
SECTION 10. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
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