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Session Law

2013

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Chapter 174 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR RECALL ELECTIONS IN THE TOWN OF WALES.

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 elective office in the town of Wales may be recalled and removed from that office by the qualified voters of the town as provided in this act.

SECTION 2. One hundred or more registered voters of the town of Wales may initiate a recall petition by filing with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer whose recall is sought, the office from which recall is sought and a statement of the grounds for recall. Upon certification of the signatures by the town clerk, 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. The petition blanks shall: (i) be issued by the town clerk with the town clerk's signature and official seal attached thereto; (ii) be dated and addressed to the board of selectmen; (iii) contain the name of the person whose recall is sought, the office from which recall is sought and the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit; and (iv) demand the election of a successor to the office. A copy of the recall 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 20 days following the date of issuance of the petition. The recall petition shall be signed by at least 20 per cent of the registered voters in the town and shall include the place of residence of each signer, giving the street and number. The town clerk shall, within 2 business days following the date of the filing, submit the recall petition to the board of registrars of voters, who shall within 5 business days after the day of receipt, certify in writing thereon the number of signatures that are names of 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 is certified by the town clerk to be sufficient, the town clerk shall submit the same with the certificate thereon to the board of selectmen without delay, and the board of selectmen shall give the elected officer whose recall is being sought, written notice of the receipt of the certificate, either by hand or by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the officer sought to be removed does not resign within 5 days after receipt of the notice, the board of selectmen shall order a recall election to be held not less than 60 nor more than 90 days after the date the town clerk certified the petition; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within 100 days after the date of the certificate, the board of selectmen may, in their discretion, postpone the holding of the removal election to the date of the other election. If a vacancy occurs in the office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall proceed as provided in this act.

SECTION 4. Any officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed the office, 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 recall election shall be in accordance with the laws relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in 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 provided in this act. If not re-elected in the recall election, the incumbent shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of a successor, who shall hold office during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within 5 business days after receiving notification of the election, either by hand or by certified mail, return receipt requested the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed 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 and title of the officer whose recall is sought)
Against the recall of (name and title of the officer whose recall is sought)
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 propositions. Just above the squares, there shall appear the direction "Vote for one". Under the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates" and the direction "Vote for one" and beneath this the names of candidates nominated as provided in this act.
In case of machine voting, punch card balloting or other forms of balloting, appropriate provisions shall be made to allow the same intent of the voter.
If the majority of the votes cast on the recall question are in the affirmative, then the candidate who received the highest number of votes of the special election to the vacancy shall be elected. If a majority of the votes cast on the recall question are in the negative, the ballots for candidates to fill the potential vacancy need not be counted.

SECTION 7. A recall petition shall not be filed against an officer of the town within 6 months after the officer takes office, or, in the case of an officer subjected to recall election and not removed thereby, until at least 6 months after the election at which the recall was submitted to the voters.

SECTION 8. A person who was recalled from an office or who resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against that person, shall not be appointed to any town office within 2 years after the removal by recall or such resignation.

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

Approved, December 4, 2013.


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