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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) Any holder of an elective office in the town of Erving may be recalled and removed therefrom by the qualified voters of the same as set forth in this act.

(b)  Any 100 registered voters may initiate a recall petition by filing with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer and the office held whose recall is sought and a statement of the grounds for the recall. Upon certification by the town clerk, the town clerk shall, within 7 business days, deliver to the first voter named on the affidavit, a sufficient number of copies of petition blanks demanding such recall. The blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with the town clerk’s signature and official seal attached thereto, shall be dated and addressed to the board of selectmen, shall contain the name of the person whose recall is sought, the office from which the recall is sought and the grounds for the recall as stated in the affidavit and shall demand the election of a successor to such office. A copy of the 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 recall petition. The recall petition shall be signed by at least 20 per cent of the registered voters in the town who shall add to their signatures their place of residence, including the street and number. The town clerk shall, within 7 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 thereof, 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 shall, upon completion of its certification, return the petition to the town clerk.

(c)  If the petition shall be found and certified by the town clerk to be sufficient, the town clerk shall submit the same with the town clerk’s certificate thereon to the selectmen without delay and the selectmen shall forthwith give to the elected officer whose recall is being sought, written notice of the receipt of the certificate. If the officer sought to be recalled does not resign within 5 days thereafter, the selectmen shall thereupon order a recall election to be held not less than 64 and not more than 90 days after the date of the town clerk’s certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within 100 days after the date of the certificate, the selectmen may, in their discretion, postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election. If a vacancy occurs in the office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as herein provided.

(d)  Any officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed themselves and unless such officer requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place such 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 same shall all be in accordance with the laws relating to elections unless otherwise provided in this act.

(e)  The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the incumbent’s office until the recall election. If the recall fails or if the incumbent is re-elected, the incumbent shall continue in office for the remainder of the incumbent’s unexpired term, subject to the 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 the incumbent’s successor and the successor shall then hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within 5 days after receiving notification of the successor’s election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office shall be deemed vacant.

(f)  Ballots used in a recall election in the town of Erving shall submit the following proposition in the order indicated:

For the recall of (name of officer)(office held)

Against the recall of (name of officer)(office held). Immediately to 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. Immediately above the squares, there shall appear the direction “Vote for one”.  Immediately below the proposition, there shall appear the word “Candidates” and the direction “Vote for one” and, beneath this, the names of candidates nominated as hereinbefore provided. In case of machine voting or punch card or other forms of balloting, appropriate provisions shall be made to allow the same intent of the voter. If a majority of votes cast on the question of recall is in the affirmative, then the candidate who received the highest number of votes at the recall election shall be elected to fill the vacancy. If a majority of votes cast on the question of recall is in the negative, then the ballot for the candidates to fill the potential vacancy need not be counted.

(g)  No recall petition shall be filed against an officer of the town within 6 months after the officer takes office or, in the case of an officer who was subjected to recall election and not removed thereby, until at least 6 months after the election at which the officer’s recall was submitted to the voters.

(h)  No person who has been recalled from an office or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending against that person shall be appointed to any town office within 2 years after such removal by recall or resignation.

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

Approved, January 7, 2019.