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 Rochester may be recalled therefrom by the qualified voters of said town as herein provided.
SECTION 2. Any qualified twenty-five voters of the town of Rochester may file with the town clerk of said town an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds of recall. Said town clerk shall thereupon deliver to the voters making such affidavit a sufficient number of copies of printed recall petition blanks demanding such recall, a supply which shall be kept on hand. The petition blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with his signature and official seal attached thereto, they shall be dated and addressed to the selectmen of said town, shall contain the name of the person sought to be recalled and the office held by such person, the grounds of recall stated in such affidavit, and shall demand the election of a successor to such office. The petition shall be kept in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. Said recall petition shall be returned and filed with said town clerk not later than three o'clock in the afternoon on the twentieth day following the filing of such affidavit and shall be signed by a minimum of one hundred and fifty registered voters or ten percent of the registered voters in the town of Rochester, registered as of the date of the most recent town election whichever is greater, and to every signature shall be added the place of residence of the signer, including the street and number. The person to whom the petitions forms were issued shall make an affidavit on each page that the statements thereon are true and that each signature appended to the petition is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. Said town clerk shall, within one work day following the day of such filing in the office of the town clerk, submit the signed petitions to the board of registrars which shall, within five work days, certify in writing thereon the number of signatures on said petition which are qualified voters as of the date of the most recent town election. The certified petitions shall be returned to the town clerk by the board of registrars as soon as completed, but no later than three o'clock in the afternoon of the fifth work day following the receipt of the petitions.
SECTION 3. If the town clerk determines that the certified petitions meet the requirements as described in the previous sections, he shall immediately give notice, in writing by certified mail, to the elected officer whose recall is being sought, a copy of the affidavit and the recall petition form together with a certification as to the number of signatures certified on such petitions. If the officer sought to be removed does not resign within five days, said town clerk shall notify the board of selectmen without delay, and said board of selectmen within seven working days, order an election to be held on a Wednesday fixed by them not less than sixty-five and not more than ninety days after receipt of the town clerk's notification; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within one hundred days after the date of said notification said selectmen may, in their discretion, postpone the holding of said election to the date of the other election. If a vacancy occurs in said office for any reason after a recall election has been ordered by the board of selectmen, the recall election shall nevertheless proceed as provided for herein, but only ballots for candidates need be counted.
SECTION 4. Any officer whose recall is sought may be a candidate to succeed himself and, unless he requests otherwise in writing to the town clerk, said town clerk shall place his name on the official ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the same, shall be in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this act.
SECTION 5. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If not recalled he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided in section seven. If recalled in the recall election, he shall be deemed removed upon qualification of his successor, who shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within seven 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 in said town shall submit the following propositions in the order indicated:
For the recall of (name of officer and office held)
Against the recall of (name of officer)
Immediately to the right of each proposition there shall be a square by which the voter by making a cross mark (X) may vote for either of such propositions. Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates" and directions to voters as required by the General Laws regulating elections. Beneath the word "Candidates" shall be the names of candidates nominated in accordance with the provisions of law relative to elections. If a majority of the votes cast upon a question or recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of a recall is in the negative, the ballots for candidates shall not be counted. Ballots shall be prepared in the same manner as those prepared for town elections.
SECTION 7. No recall petitions shall be filed against an officer of the town 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 such recall election.
SECTION 8. No person who has been recalled from an office in said town, or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings are pending against him, shall be appointed to any office within one year after such removal by recall or resignation.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect upon its passage.