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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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. (a) An officer holding an elective office in the town of Carlisle may be recalled and removed from office by qualified voters of the town as provided in this act. 

(b) Not less than 50 registered voters of the town who were eligible to vote in the most recent town election may file with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer whose recall is sought and a statement of the grounds for recall. The affidavit shall be kept with the town records in the office of the town clerk. The board of registrars of voters shall certify the number of signatures of qualified voters on the affidavit and, upon certification that the affidavit contains a sufficient number of verified signatures, the town clerk shall thereupon deliver to the voter first named on the affidavit a sufficient number of copies of petition sheets demanding a recall. The petition sheets shall be issued by the town clerk with the town clerk’s signature and official seal of the town attached to it. The petition sheets shall: (i) be dated and addressed to the board of selectmen; (ii) contain the name of the person to whom the sheets are issued, the number of petition sheets so issued, the name of the officer whose recall is sought and the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit; and (iii) demand the election of a successor to that office. 

(c) The recall petition sheets shall be returned to the town clerk not more than 20 working days after the clerk issues the petition sheets and shall bear the signatures and residential addresses of not less than 200 registered voters who were eligible to vote in the most recent town election. The petition sheets containing the signatures requesting a recall election need not all be submitted at the same time. A copy of each petition sheet shall be maintained with the records of the subject recall election. 

(d) The town clerk shall, within 1 working day of receipt, submit the recall petition sheets to the board of registrars of voters in the town who shall, within 10 working days, certify thereon the number of signatures that are names of qualified voters. 

(e) If the town clerk determines that the certified petition sheets meet the requirements of subsections (b) to (d), inclusive, the town clerk shall give notice without delay, in writing and by certified mail, to the elected official whose recall is sought by sending to that officer a copy of the affidavit and the recall petition sheets together with the notice of the number of qualified voters certified by the board of registrars of voters who signed the recall petition sheets and the total number of qualified voters in the town as of the most recent town election. 

If the officer who receives the recall notice from the town clerk does not resign the office within 5 working days after the receipt of the notice, the town clerk shall give written notice of the necessity of a recall election to the board of selectmen not more than 2 working days after the expiration of the 5 working days. The board of selectmen shall order a special election to be held not less than 64 days nor more than 90 days after receipt of the notice from the town clerk; provided, however, that if a 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. 

(f) An officer whose recall is sought shall not be a candidate to succeed oneself. The nomination of other candidates to succeed the officer, publication of the warrant for the recall election and the conduct of the nomination and publication shall be in accordance with the laws relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in this act. 

(g) The officer whose recall is sought shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election. If the officer is not recalled, the officer shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as before except as provided in this act. The officer shall be 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 removed and the office vacant. 

(h) 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” and the directions to voters required by section 42 of chapter 54 of the General Laws. Beneath the propositions and directions shall appear the names of candidates nominated as provided in this act. If the majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall are in the affirmative, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. If a majority of the votes cast upon the question of recall are in the negative, the ballots for candidates shall not be counted. 

(i) A recall petition shall not be filed against an officer until not less than 6 months after the officer takes office or, in the case of an officer subject to a recall election and not removed thereby, until not less than 6 months after the election at which the question of recall was submitted to the voters. 

(j) An officer who was recalled from an office of 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 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.


Approved, July 12, 2018