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 elected office in the town of Athol may be recalled therefrom by the registered voters of said town as herein provided, except members of the Athol-Royalston regional district school committee.
SECTION 2. Any one hundred and fifty registered voters of the town of Athol may initiate a recall petition by filing with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the official sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for such recall. Said town clerk shall thereupon deliver to such voters making the affidavit copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, copies of which printed forms said town clerk shall keep available. Such blanks shall be issued by said town clerk, with said town clerk's signature and official seal attached thereto. Such petitions shall be dated, shall be addressed to the selectmen and shall contain the names of all persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought and the grounds for such recall as stated in the affidavit and they shall demand the election of a successor in said office. A copy of such petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of said town clerk. Said recall petition shall be returned and filed with said town clerk within twenty days after the filing of the affidavit. The precinct designated petitions shall have been signed only by the registered voters residing in the appropriate voting precinct and shall be signed by at least ten percent of the registered voters of each precinct who shall add their signatures and the street and number of their residences.
The town clerk of the town of Athol shall, within twenty-four hours of receipt of the recall petition, submit such petition to the registrars of voters in said town, and said registrars shall, within five working days, certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered voters of said town.
SECTION 3. If the petition shall be found and certified by the town clerk of the town of Athol, said town clerk shall submit the same with the town clerk's certificate to the selectmen within five working days and said selectmen shall, within five working days, give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the official sought to be recalled and shall, if the official does not resign within seven days thereafter, order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than sixty days and not more than ninety days after the date of the town clerk's certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within ninety days after the date of the certificate, said selectmen shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election.
SECTION 4. An official sought to be removed may be a candidate to succeed himself and, unless he requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk of the town of Athol shall place his name on the ballot without nomination.
The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the removal 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 his 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 the qualification of his successor, who shall hold office during the remainder of 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 official)
Against the recall of (name of official)
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 the said propositions. Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates", the directions to the voters required by section forty-two of chapter fifty-four of the General Laws and, beneath this, the names of candidates nominated in accordance with the provisions of law relating to elections.
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 the votes on the question are in the negative, the ballots for candidates need not be counted.
SECTION 7. No person shall be subject to recall if his term of office expires within six months of the filing of the certificate. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall proceed as provided hereunder.
No recall petition shall be filed against an official within ninety days after such official takes office nor, in the case of an official subjected to recall election and not recalled thereby, until at least ninety days after such recall election.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect upon its passage.