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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE RECALL OF ELECTED OFFICIALS IN THE TOWN OF DIGHTON.

      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 Dighton may be recalled and removed from office by qualified voters of the town as provided in this act.
      SECTION 2.  Twenty-five registered 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 for recall.  Once the names that appear on the affidavit are certified by the board of registrars of voters, the town clerk shall thereupon deliver to the voter first named on the affidavit a sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding a recall.  The petition blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with the town clerk’s signature and official seal of the town attached thereto.  The petition blanks shall be dated and addressed to the board of selectmen and shall contain the name of the person to whom the blanks are issued, the number of petition blanks so issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit and shall demand the election of a successor to that office.  The affidavit shall be kept with the town records in the office of the town clerk.
      SECTION 3.  The recall petition shall bear the signatures and residential addresses of at least 15 per cent of registered voters in each precinct eligible to vote in the most recent town election.  The recall petition shall be returned to the town clerk within 20 working days after the clerk issues the petition.  The petitions containing the signatures requesting a recall election need not all be submitted at the same time.  A copy of each petition shall be maintained with the records of the subject recall election.
      SECTION 4.  The town clerk shall, within 1 working day of receipt, submit the recall petition to the board of registrars of voters in the town, who shall within 7 working days certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered eligible voters.
      SECTION 5.  If the town clerk determines that the certified petitions meet the requirements of sections 2 to 4, inclusive, the town clerk shall give notice without delay, in writing, by certified mail 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 town clerk 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 the recall notice is directed by the town clerk does not resign the office within 5 days following receipt of the notice from the town clerk, the town clerk shall give notice, in writing, to the board of selectmen not later than 2 working days following the expiration of the foregoing 5 days.  The board of selectmen shall order a special election to be held not more than 90 days after receipt of the notice from the town clerk and not less than 64 days from the date of the order.  If, however, any 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 such time in conjunction with the town 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 in this act.
      SECTION 6.  An officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed the office and, unless the officer requests otherwise, in writing, to the town clerk, the town clerk shall place the officer’s name on the official ballot without nomination.  The nomination of another candidate, publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the nomination and publication, shall be in accordance with laws relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this act.
      SECTION 7.  The incumbent 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 9.  If not re-elected in the recall election, the incumbent shall be deemed removed upon qualification of a successor, who shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term.  If the successor fails to qualify within 7 days after receiving notification of the election, the incumbent shall be deemed removed and the office vacant.
      SECTION 8.  Ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following propositions in the order indicated:
      For the recall of (name of officer)
      Against the recall of (name of officer).
      There shall be an appropriate place for the voters to vote for either proposition.  Under the propositions shall appear the word “Candidates”, the directions 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.  If the majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall is in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.  If a majority of votes on the question of recall is in the negative, the ballots for candidates shall not be counted. 
      SECTION 9.  A recall petition shall not be filed against an officer of the town until at least 6 months after the officer takes office, or, in the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not removed thereby, until at least 6 months after the election at which the recall was submitted to the voters.
      SECTION 10.  A person who was recalled from an office in the town or who resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against the officer, shall not be appointed to any town office within 2 years after removal by recall or resignation.
      SECTION 11.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, October 2, 2015.