Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Any holder of an elective office in the town of Blandford may be recalled therefrom by the registered voters of said town as herein provided.
SECTION 2. One hundred or more qualified voters may make and file with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. The town clerk shall thereupon deliver to the 10 persons first named on the affidavit a sufficient number of petition blanks demanding the recall, copies of which printed forms he shall keep available. The petition blanks may be completed by printing or typewriter and they shall contain the names of the 10 persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person sought to be recalled, the office from which recall is sought, and the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit. They shall demand the election of a successor to the office and they shall be dated, signed and sealed by the town clerk. The recall petition shall be returned to the office of the town clerk not later than 3 o'clock in the afternoon on or before the first work day following 20 days after the date they are issued, signed by at least 25 per cent of the total number of qualified persons registered to vote in the town as of the date the 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, if any. One of the 10 persons to whom the recall petition forms is issued shall make an affidavit on each page that statements therein contained are true, and that each signature appended to the petition is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.
The town clerk shall, within 72 hours following the day of the filing with the office of the town clerk, submit the recall petition forms to the board of registrars of voters which shall, within 5 work days after the day of receipt, certify in writing thereon the number of signatures which are those of qualified persons registered to vote in the town as of the date such affidavit was filed with the town clerk. The board of registrars of voters, upon the completion of their certification, shall return the recall petition forms to the town clerk.
SECTION 3. If the recall petition forms shall be certified by the board of registrars of voters to contain at least 25 per cent of the qualified persons registered to vote and if the petition shall be found and certified by the town clerk to be sufficient, the town clerk shall give notice without delay, in writing, to the elected officer whose recall is sought by sending to that officer a copy of the affidavit and the recall petition form together with notice of the number of qualified voters certified by the board of registrars of voters who signed the recall petition forms and the total number of qualified voters in the town as of the most recent town election.
If the officer to whom notice is directed by the town clerk does not resign the office within 5 days following receipt of the aforesaid notice from the town clerk, the town clerk shall give notice in writing to the board of selectmen not later than 1 work day following the expiration of the foregoing 5 days. The board of selectmen shall order a special election to be held not less than 64 nor more than 90 days after the receipt of notice from the town clerk as aforesaid. If, however, any other town election is to be held within 100 days of receipt by the board of selectmen of notice from the town clerk, the recall election shall be postponed and shall be held at the time and in conjunction with the other election. If a vacancy occurs in the 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.
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 number of signatures of qualified voters required to place the name of a candidate on the official ballot for use at a recall election shall not be less than 25. The publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the recall election shall be in accordance with the General Laws relative to elections, unless otherwise provided in this act.
SECTION 5. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of this office until the recall election. If then recalled and reelected pursuant to section 6, he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term subject to recall as before, except as provided in this section. If recalled and not reelected in the recall election held pursuant to section 6, he shall be considered removed upon the qualification of his successor, who shall hold office during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within 5 days after receiving notification of his election, the office shall be considered vacant.
SECTION 6. The ballots used at the recall election shall submit the following proposition 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 propositions shall appear the word "Candidates" and the directions for the voters required by law, and beneath the word "Candidates" shall be the names of candidates nominated as hereinabove provided.
If a majority of the votes cast is against the recall, the votes for the candidates need not be counted. If a majority of the votes cast is in favor of the recall, the officer shall be considered to be recalled and the ballots for candidates shall then be counted. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. If the officer is recalled, he shall be considered removed upon certification of the election results by the town clerk. The candidate receiving the highest vote and therefore elected, shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term of the officer removed.
SECTION 7. A recall petition shall not be filed against an officer within 6 months after he takes office nor, in the case of an officer elected in a recall election, until 6 months after that election. A recall shall not be filed against an officer subjected to a recall election, and not recalled thereby, until at least 6 months after the election at which his recall was submitted to the voters.
SECTION 8. A person who has been recalled from an office, or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against him, shall not be appointed to any town office within 1 year after the recall or the resignation.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect upon its passage.