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 town of Rockland, as defined in Article II of the town charter, may be recalled and removed therefrom by the qualified voters of the town as hereinafter provided.
SECTION 2. Any five hundred qualified voters of the town may make and file with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name and position of the officer sought to be removed and a statement of the grounds of recall. The town clerk shall thereupon deliver to the voters making such affidavit sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding such recall and removal. The blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with his signature and official seal attached thereto. They shall be dated, shall be addressed to the board of selectmen and shall contain the names of all persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit and shall demand the election of a successor to such office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within fourteen days after filing the affidavit and shall be signed by at least fifteen per cent of the qualified voters of the town as of the date such affidavit was filed with the town clerk. To every signature shall be added the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number. The recall petition shall be submitted, at or before five o'clock in the afternoon of the Monday preceding the day on which it must be filed, to the registrar of voters and the registrars shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of qualified voters in the town of Rockland.
SECTION 3. If the petition shall be found and certified by the town clerk to be sufficient, he shall submit the same with his certificate to the board of selectmen without delay and said board shall forthwith give written notice to the officer of the receipt of said certificate and shall, if the officer sought to be removed does not resign within five days thereafter, thereupon order a recall election to be held on a day fixed by them not less than sixty nor 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, the selectmen may, in their discretion, postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been 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 in an election to be held to fill such vacancy, and unless he requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place his name on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election and any election to fill a vacancy caused by a recall election, and the conduct of the same, shall all be in accordance with the provisions of the laws relating to elections, unless otherwise provided by this act. A majority of those voting at the recall election shall be sufficient to recall such elected officer.
SECTION 5. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If then re-elected, he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided in this act. If not re-elected in the recall election, he shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of his successor, who shall hold office during 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 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 such propositions. Under the proposition shall appear the word "Candidates" and the direction "Vote for One" and beneath this the names of candidates nominated as hereinbefore provided. In case of machine voting, or punch card balloting, or other forms of balloting, appropriate provision shall be made to allow the same intent of the voter.
If a majority of the votes cast on the recall question is in the affirmative, then the candidate that received the highest number of votes in the special election to fill the vacancy shall be elected. If a majority of the votes on the question is in the negative, the ballots for candidates to fill the potential vacancy need not be counted, or any action taken relative thereto.
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 subjected to a recall election and not removed thereby, until at least six months after that election.
SECTION 8. No person who has been recalled from 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 by recall or resignation.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect upon its passage.