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 Bellingham with more than six months remaining in the term of office may be recalled therefrom by the qualified voters of said town in the manner provided for herein.
SECTION 2. Two hundred or more voters may file with the town clerk, an affidavit containing the name of the officer whose recall is sought and a statement of the grounds upon which the petition is based. At least forty names of voters shall be from each of the five precincts into which the town is divided. The town clerk shall thereupon deliver to said voters petition blanks demanding such recall, printed forms of which the town clerk shall keep available. The blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with the town clerk's signature and official seal attached thereto. They shall be dated; shall be addressed to the board of selectmen; shall contain the names of all persons to whom they are issued; the name of the person whose recall is sought; the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit; and shall demand the election of a successor to said office. A copy of the affidavit shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. The recall petitions shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within twenty days following the date of the filing of the affidavit, signed by at least fifteen percent of the voters and containing their names and addresses; provided, however, that not more than twenty-five percent of the total number shall be from any one precinct. The town clerk shall, within twenty-four hours of receipt, submit the petitions to the registrars of voters who shall forthwith certify thereon, the number of signatures that are names of voters.
SECTION 3. If the petition shall be certified by the registrars of voters to be sufficient, the town clerk shall forthwith submit the same with the town clerk's certificate to the board of selectmen. Upon its receipt of the certificate the board of selectmen shall forthwith give written notice of such petition and certificate to the officer, whose recall is sought. If said officer does not resign his office within five days after delivery of such notice the board of selectmen shall order an election to be held not less than sixty nor more than ninety days after the date of the town clerk's certificate of sufficient petition. If however any other town election is to occur within one hundred days after the date of the certificate, the board of selectmen shall hold the recall election on 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, and the ballots for candidates shall, notwithstanding a recall provision to the contrary, be counted.
SECTION 4. Any officer whose recall is sought may not be a candidate to succeed himself in the recall election. The nomination of candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election, and the conduct of same shall all be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this act.
SECTION 5. Ballots used in a recall election shall state the following propositions in the order indicated:
FOR THE RECALL OF (Name of Officer)
AGAINST THE RECALL OF (Name of Officer)
Adjacent to each proposition, there shall be a place to vote for either of the said propositions. After the proposition shall appear the word "candidate" and the names of candidates nominated as required in section forty-two of chapter fifty-four of the General Laws. 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. If a majority of votes on the question is in the negative, the ballots for candidates need not be counted, except as provided in section three.
SECTION 6. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If he is not recalled in the election, he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided herein. If he is recalled in the 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 7. No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within three months after he takes office, or in the case of an officer subjected 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.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect upon its passage.