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 elected office in the town of Upton may be recalled, and removed from that office, by the qualified voters of the town as provided in this act.
SECTION 2. Any 30 registered voters may initiate a recall petition by filing with the town clerk of the town of Upton an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall.
After the town clerk has certified the affidavit, the town clerk shall, within 2 business days, deliver to the voter first named on the affidavit a sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding the recall. These blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with the town clerk’s signature and official seal attached to them; they shall be dated and addressed to the selectmen of the town, shall contain the name of the person to whom issued, the name of the person sought to be recalled, the office from which recall is sought, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit, and shall 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 on or before 5:00 p.m. on the thirtieth day after the filing of the affidavit. If the thirtieth day is a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, the petition may be filed on the next business day.
The petition, before being returned and filed, shall be signed by 15 per cent of the registered voters, and to every signature shall be added the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number.
The town clerk shall, within 1 business day after the date of its filing with the town clerk, submit the recall petition to the board of registrars of voters in the town, which shall, within 5 business days after the day of receipt, certify in writing on it the number of signatures which are those of registered voters in the town as of the date the affidavit was filed with the town clerk. The board of registrars of voters shall, upon completion of its certification, return the petition to the town clerk.
SECTION 3. If the petition shall be found and certified by the town clerk to be sufficient, the town clerk shall submit it, with the town clerk’s certificate on it, to the selectmen without delay, and the selectmen shall immediately give to the elected officer whose recall is sought written notice of the receipt of the certificate and shall, if the officer sought to be removed does not resign within 5 days after receipt of the notice, order a special election to be held not less than 65 days nor more than 75 days after the date of the town clerk’s certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed, but if any other town election is to occur within 90 days after the date of the certificate, the selectmen may, in their discretion, postpone the holding of the removal 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 act.
SECTION 4. Any officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed himself or herself, and, unless the officer requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place that 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 all be in accordance with the law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided by this act.
SECTION 5. The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If the recall fails, or if the incumbent is re-elected, the incumbent shall continue in the office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as otherwise provided in this act. 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 6. Ballots used in a recall election in the town 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 an oval which the voter may fill to vote for either of such proposition. Just above said ovals, there shall appear the direction “vote for one”. Under the proposition shall appear the word “Candidates” and the direction to voters required by section 42 of chapter 54 of the General Laws and beneath this the names of candidates nominated as provided in this act. In case of other forms of balloting, appropriate provision shall be made to allow the same intent of the voter.
If a majority of the votes cast on the recall question is in the affirmative, then the candidate who received the highest number of votes in the special election to fill the vacancy shall be elected. If a majority of the votes cast on the recall question is in the negative, the ballots for candidates to fill the potential vacancy need not be counted.
SECTION 7. No recall petition shall be filed against an officer within 6 months after that officer takes office, nor, in the case of an officer subjected to a recall
election and not recalled by that election, until at least 6 months after the election at which the recall was submitted to the voters.
SECTION 8. No person who has been removed from an office or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against that person shall be appointed to any town office within 2 years after the removal or resignation.
Approved January 3, 2007.