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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR RECALL ELECTIONS IN THE TOWN OF SHIRLEY

      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 town office in the town of Shirley may be recalled from office for any reason by the registered voters of the town as provided in this act.
      SECTION 2.  An initial recall affidavit signed by at least 50 registered voters of the town containing the voters’ names and addresses may be filed with the town clerk. The initial recall affidavit shall contain the name of the officer sought to be recalled, the office sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. The town clerk shall immediately forward the recall affidavit to the board of registrars of voters for verification of signatures.
      SECTION 3.  The board of registrars of voters shall verify the signatures on the initial recall affidavit within 14 calendar days of receipt of the initial recall affidavit.  If the initial recall affidavit is found to contain a sufficient number of verified signatures, the town clerk shall deliver to the first 10 registered voters who signed the affidavit a formal numbered and printed recall petition sheet with the town clerk's official seal and addressed to the board of selectmen demanding the recall and the election of a successor to the office. Prior to the delivery of the recall petition sheet, the town clerk shall fill out the top portion of each recall petition sheet naming the elected official sought to be recalled, the grounds for recall stated in the initial recall affidavit, the names of the first 10 registered voters that signed the affidavit and shall 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 10 registered voters of the town to whom the town clerk delivered recall petition sheets shall have 30 days from the date of delivery of the recall petition sheets in which to file their signed recall petition sheets with the town clerk.
      To proceed with the recall election, the town clerk shall receive within 30 days from the date of delivery of the recall petition sheets, the required number of signed recall petition sheets containing the signatures, names and street addresses of at least 10 per cent of the registered voters of the town as of the date the signed recall petition sheets are delivered to the town clerk.
      Within 5 working days of receipt of the recall petition sheets, the town clerk shall submit the recall petition sheets to the board of registrars of voters and the board of registrars of voters shall verify the number of signatures which are names of registered voters of the town.
      SECTION 4.  If the total recall petition sheets shall be found and certified by the board of registrars of voters to be sufficient, the certified petition shall be submitted with the certificate of the town clerk to the board of selectmen without delay. The board of selectmen shall give written notice of the receipt of the certified petition to the officer sought to be recalled. If the officer does not resign within 5 calendar days of the date notice is given by the board of selectmen, then the board of selectmen shall promptly order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than 64 nor more than 90 days after receipt of the certified petition; provided, however, that if any other town election is scheduled to occur within 100 days after the date of receipt of the certified petition, the board of selectmen may postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of the other election and may include the question of recall on the ballot for 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 5.  An officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed the officer in an election to be held to fill the vacancy. Unless the officer requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place the officer’s name on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the nomination and publication, shall all be in accordance with the law relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this act.
      SECTION 6.  The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If the incumbent is not recalled, the incumbent shall continue in 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 considered removed from office immediately and the office vacant.
      SECTION 7.  Ballots used in a recall election shall contain the following propositions:
      FOR THE RECALL OF THE
            [NAME OF OFFICER] (  )
      AGAINST THE RECALL OF THE
            [NAME OF OFFICER] (  )
      Adjacent to each proposition, there shall be a place to mark a vote. Following the propositions shall appear the word "Candidates" with directions to voters as required by section 42 of chapter 54 of the General Laws. Beneath the word "Candidates" shall appear the names of candidates nominated as provided in this act. Adjacent to the name of each candidate shall be a place to mark a vote.
      If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall are in favor of recall, the officer shall be recalled and the votes for the candidates shall be counted. In that instance, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected for the open office. If less than a majority of the votes cast are in favor of recall, the votes for candidates shall not be counted.
      SECTION 8.  An initial recall affidavit shall not be filed against an officer within 3 months after the officer takes office or within the last 3 months of the term. In the case of an officer subjected to a recall election and not recalled, a new recall affidavit shall not be filed against that officer until at least 3 months have elapsed after the election at which the previous recall was submitted to the voters of the town.
       SECTION 9.  A person who has been recalled from an office or who has resigned from office while a recall petition was pending against them shall not be appointed to any town office within 2 years after the recall or resignation.

Approved, May 20, 2016.