SECTION 1. (a) Any holder of an elected office in the town of Lakeville may be recalled therefrom by the registered voters of the town pursuant to this act; provided, however, that members of the Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District committee shall not be considered elected officials for purposes of this act. An initial recall affidavit shall not be filed against an officer within 6 months after the officer takes office or within the last 6 months of their term.
(b) An initial recall affidavit signed by at least 5 per cent of the registered voters of the town of Lakeville containing their names and addresses may be filed with the town clerk. That initial recall affidavit shall contain the name of the official sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. The town clerk shall immediately forward the recall affidavit to the board of registrars for certification of signatures; provided, however, that if a recall affidavit is filed to recall the town clerk, the select board may appoint a temporary or interim town clerk to carry out the recall process.
(c) Within 14 calendar days of receipt of the initial recall affidavit, the board of registrars of voters shall certify the signatures on the initial recall affidavit and, upon certification of a sufficient number of signatures, the town clerk shall deliver to the first 10 signers of the affidavit a formal numbered printed recall petition sheet with the town clerk’s official seal and addressed to the select board demanding the recall. The town clerk shall fill out the top portion of each recall petition sheet naming the elected official subject to recall, the grounds for recall stated in the petition and the names of the first 10 voters signing the affidavit and demanding the election of a successor to the office. A copy of the recall petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk.
Within 28 days of the date of delivery of the blank recall petition sheets, the registered voters making the initial recall affidavit shall file their recall petition sheets signed by not less than 1,000 registered voters of the town with the town clerk, which shall include the signer’s place of residence, including the street and number; provided, however, that if the town clerk’s office is not open on the twenty-eighth day, the signed recall petition sheets may be filed during normal business hours on the next town clerk business day.
Within 5 working days of receipt, the town clerk shall submit the signed recall petition sheets to the board of registrars of voters, who shall certify thereon the number of signatures that are names of registered voters of the town.
(d) If a recall petition submitted pursuant to subsection (c) shall be certified by the registrars of voters to be sufficient, the town clerk shall forthwith submit the petition with the certificate to the select board. The select board shall forthwith give written notice of the receipt of the recall petition to the official who is the subject of the recall and, if the official sought to be removed does not resign within 7 calendar days, then the select board shall order an election to be held on a day fixed by the board not less than 64 days nor more than 90 days after the date on which the select board calls for said election ; provided, however, if any other town election is set to occur within 90 days after the date on which the select board calls for said election, the select board may, at their discretion, postpone the recall election to the date of such other election. If a vacancy occurs in office subject to recall after a recall election has been so ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.
An official sought to be removed may not be a candidate to succeed themself in an election to be held to fill the vacancy. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the nomination and publication shall all be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this act.
Ballots used in a recall election shall contain the following propositions:
FOR THE RECALL OF THE
[NAME OF OFFICER] ( )
AGAINST THE RECALL OF THE
[NAME OF OFFICER] ( )
Adjacent to each proposition, there shall be a place to mark a vote. Following the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates" with directions to voters as required by section 42 of chapter 54 of the General Laws. Beneath the word "Candidates" shall appear the names of candidates nominated as provided in this act. Adjacent to the name of each candidate shall be a place to mark a vote.
(e) The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of their office until the recall election. If the official is not recalled, the official shall continue in the office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as provided in this act.
(f) If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall are in favor of recall, the officer shall be recalled and the votes for the candidates shall be counted and the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected for the open office. If less than a majority of the votes cast are in favor of recall, the votes for candidates shall not be counted.
If the official is recalled in the recall election, they shall be deemed removed upon the election of their successor, who shall hold office during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to take office within 5 days after receiving notification of their election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office shall be deemed vacant.
(h) Any person who has been removed from an office or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against them shall not be appointed to any town office within 2 years after such removal or resignation. In the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled, a new recall affidavit shall not be filed against that officer until at least 1 year after the election at which the previous recall was submitted to the voters of the town.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
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