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February 29, 2024 Clouds | 32°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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 Canton may be recalled and removed from that office by registered voters of the town as herein provided in this act.

Any 250 qualified voters of the town may file with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds of recall. If, within 3 days after this submission, the affidavit is found by the town clerk to be sufficient and valid, and, if on that date the officer whose recall is sought has at least 6 months remaining of the term for which elected, the town clerk shall make available to the first 5 voters filing the affidavit a sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding the recall, copies of which shall be kept available. The blank petitions shall be issued by the town clerk with the clerk’s signature and official seal attached to the petitions; they shall be dated and addressed to the board of selectmen, contain the names of the 5 persons first named on the affidavit, the number of blanks issued, the name of the person sought to be recalled, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit, and demand the election of a successor to the office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within 21 days after the certification of the affidavit. The petition, before being returned and filed shall be signed by at least 10 per cent of the voters in each precinct registered for the last regular town election. To every signature shall be added the place of residence of the signer, giving street name and number. The town clerk shall, within 72 hours after receipt, submit the petition to the registrars of voters of the town of Canton, and the registrars shall, within 14 days after submission of the petition to the registrars, certify on it the number of signatures that are names of registered voters of the town.

SECTION 2. If the petition shall be found and certified by the registrars to be sufficient, they shall submit it with their certificate to the selectmen without delay. The selectmen shall, within 14 days after submission of the certificate to them by the registrars, give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if the officer does not resign within 5 days after receipt of this notice, order an election to be held on a Tuesday fixed by them not less than 60 nor more than 90 days after the date of the registrars’ certification that a sufficient petition has been filed, but if any other town election is to occur within 100 days after the date of certification, the selectmen shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of that other election. If a vacancy occurs in the office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.

SECTION 3. Any officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed himself, and, unless the officer requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place the officer’s 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 election shall be in accordance with the law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this act.

SECTION 4. The incumbent officer shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If then re-elected, the incumbent shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided in section 6. If not re-elected in the recall election, the incumbent shall be considered removed upon the qualification of a successor, who shall hold office during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within 5 days after receiving notification of election, the incumbent shall be considered removed and the office vacant.

SECTION 5. Ballots used in a recall election shall contain the following propositions in the order indicated:

  • For the recall of (name of officer).
  • Against the recall of (name of officer).

Under the propositions shall appear the word “Candidates” and the direction “Vote for One” and beneath this the names of the candidates. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, ballots for the candidates shall then be counted. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected if at least 30 per cent of those entitled to vote shall have voted. If a majority of votes on the question of recall is in the negative, the ballots for candidates need not be counted. If the incumbent receives the highest number of votes, the incumbent shall be considered elected. If a person other than the incumbent receives the highest number of votes, the incumbent shall be considered recalled; in this case the person receiving the highest number of votes shall, upon qualification, serve for the balance of the unexpired term.

SECTION 6. No recall petition may be filed against an officer within 6 months after that officer takes office. In the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled by that election, a subsequent recall petition shall not be filed against the officer until at least 6 months after the date of the previous recall election.

SECTION 7. No person who has been recalled from an office or who has resigned from office while recall procedures were pending against that person shall be appointed to any town office within 2 years after the removal by recall or resignation. Resignation at any time after a recall affidavit has been certified by the board of registrars as being valid shall be considered to be while recall proceedings were pending.

SECTION 8. Chapter 78 of the acts of l982 is hereby repealed.

SECTION 9. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved December 22, 2006.