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 Douglas may be recalled therefrom by the qualified voters of said town as herein provided.
SECTION 2. Any qualified two hundred voters of the town of Douglas 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 for recall. Said town clerk shall thereupon deliver to said voters making the affidavit sufficient number of copies of printed recall petition blanks demanding such recall, printed forms of which he shall make available. The blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with his signature and the official seal attached thereto. They 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, the office held by said person, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit and shall demand the election of a successor in the said office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a recorded book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within thirty days after the filing of the affidavit and shall have been signed by at least twenty percent of the voters who shall add to their signatures the street and number, if any, of their residences.
The town clerk shall within twenty-four hours of receipt submit the petition to the registrars of voters in the town, and the registrars shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of qualified voters of said town.
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 selectmen without delay, and the selectmen shall forthwith give written notice of the receipt of the notice to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if the officer does not resign within five days thereafter, order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than sixty-five days nor more than seventy-five days after the date of the town clerk's certificate that a sufficient petition be filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within one hundred days after the date of the certificate, the selectmen shall 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 for herein.
SECTION 4. Any officer sought to be removed may be a candidate to succeed himself, 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 removal election, and the conduct of the same, shall all be in accordance with the provisions of the law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in section seven.
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 the 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 and office held)
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 the said propositions. Under the proposition shall appear the word "candidates", the directions to voters required by section forty-two of chapter fifty-four of the General Laws, and beneath this the names of candidates nominated as hereinbefore provided. 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.
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 subject 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. No person who has been recalled from an 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 recall or such resignation.
SECTION 9. In acting on a home-rule charter on any date subsequent to the effective date of this act, the town meeting may: (a) include sections one to eight, inclusive, as part of the charter; or (b) amend said sections one to eight in any way it chooses and include amended said sections one to eight as part of the charter; or (c) exclude said sections one to eight from the charter.
SECTION 10. This act shall take effect upon its passage.