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Session Law

2006

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Chapter 97 AN ACT AUTHORIZING RECALL ELECTIONS IN THE TOWN OF FRAMINGHAM.

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. Chapter 143 of the acts of 1949, as amended by chapter 54 of the acts of 1992, is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-

Section 11. (1) With the exception of the members of the housing authority, who are subject to section 6 of chapter 121B of the General Laws, any person who has held an elected townwide office for at least 6 months, and whose term of office extends beyond the next annual election, may be recalled from that office by the voters of the town of Framingham in the manner provided in this section.

(2) At least 150 days before the next scheduled election in the town, the voters of the town of Framingham may file with the town clerk a recall affidavit, on a form provided by the town clerk, containing the name of the official whose recall is sought and a statement of the grounds upon which the affidavit is based, but a minimum of 12 names of voters shall be from each of the voting precincts into which the town is divided. Valid grounds for a recall are:

(a) conviction of a felony criminal offense while in current office;
(b) violation of chapter 268A of the General Laws; or
(c) attendance at less than 30 per cent of the meetings of the board or committee of which the official was an elected member during the previous 6 months without a validated medical condition preventing participation.

The town clerk shall, within 1 working day after receiving the recall affidavit, submit the affidavit to the registrars of voters. The registrars of voters shall, within 5 working days after receiving the affidavit, certify the affidavit with regard to the sufficiency and validity of the signatures of voters. If the affidavit shall be certified by the registrars of voters, the town clerk shall, within 5 working days after the certification, deliver to the first 10 voters named on the affidavit, petition blanks demanding the recall, printed forms of which the town clerk shall keep available. The blanks shall be signed by the town clerk with the official town seal attached to them. The blanks may be completed by printing or typewriting. They shall contain the names of the 10 persons to whom they are issued; the name of the official whose recall is sought, the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit; and a demand for the election of a successor to that office. A copy of the affidavit shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk.

The recall petitions shall be returned to the town clerk within 30 days after the date they are issued, signed by at least 5 per cent of the total number of registered voters in the town. The town clerk shall, within 1 working day after this filing, submit the petitions to the registrars of voters who shall within 15 working days after the petitions have been submitted certify on the petitions the number of signatures which are names of voters.

(3) If the petition shall be certified by the registrars of voters to be sufficient, the town clerk shall immediately submit the petition, with a certificate, to the board of selectmen. Upon the official receipt of the certified petition, the board of selectmen shall immediately give notice in writing of the petition and certificate to the official whose recall is sought. If that official does not resign from office within 5 working days after delivery of this notice, the board of selectmen shall order a recall election to be held in conjunction with the next following annual town election. If a vacancy occurs in the office after the recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section to fill the vacancy, but the recall questions need not be placed on the ballot.

(4) An official whose recall is sought may not be a candidate to succeed himself in the recall election. The nomination of 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 section.

(5) Ballots used at the recall elections shall state the proposition in the order indicated:

For the recall of (name of official) who holds the position of (name of elected position)

Against the recall of (name of official) who holds the position of (name of elected position)

Adjacent to each proposition shall be a place to vote for either of the propositions. After the propositions shall appear the word “candidates”, the name of the elected position and the names of the candidates for the position, arranged in accordance with the 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 cast shall be declared elected. If the majority of the votes cast is in the negative, the ballots for candidates need not be counted.

(6) The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the elected office until the recall election. If then not recalled, the incumbent shall remain in the elected position for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as provided by paragraph (7).

If recalled at the election, the incumbent shall be considered to be removed upon the qualification of a successor, who shall hold the position during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within 5 working days after receiving notification of election, the incumbent shall be considered removed and the position declared vacant.

(7) No recall petition shall be filed against an elected official subjected to a recall election and not recalled by that election until at least 12 months after the election at which the recall was submitted to the voters.
(8) No person who has been recalled from an elected position, or who has resigned from the position while recall proceedings are pending against him, shall be appointed to any town position within 2 years after the recall or resignation.
(9) The timetable from the date upon which the recall affidavit is submitted to the order of a recall election shall be as follows:

(a) Voters file a recall affidavit, with 12 names of voters from each of the voting precincts, at least 150 days before the annual town election;
(b) The town clerk shall, within 1 working day after receiving the recall affidavit, submit the affidavit to the registrars of voters;
(c) The registrars of voters shall, within 5 working days after receiving the recall affidavit, certify the affidavit;
(d) The town clerk shall, within 5 working days after receiving the certification, deliver petition blanks to the first 10 voters named on the affidavit;
(e) The recall petitions shall be returned to the town clerk within 30 days after the date they are issued, signed by at least 5 per cent of the total number of registered voters;
(f) The town clerk shall, within 1 working day after this filing, submit the petitions to the registrars of voters;
(g) The registrars of voters shall, within 15 working days after the petitions have been submitted, certify the number of signatures on the petitions;
(h) The town clerk shall immediately submit the petition, with a certificate, to the board of selectmen who shall immediately give notice of the petition and certificate to the official whose recall is sought;
(i) If the official does not resign from office within 5 working days after delivery of the notice, the board of selectmen shall order a recall election in conjunction with the next following annual town election.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved June 6, 2006.

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