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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR RECALL ELECTIONS IN THE TOWN OF EAST BRIDGEWATER.

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 East Bridgewater may be recalled and removed therefrom by the qualified voters of said town as herein provided.

(b)  One hundred or more registered voters may initiate a recall petition by filing with the town clerk and affidavit containing the name of the officer and the office held whose recall is sought and a statement of the grounds for recall. Upon certification by the town clerk, the town clerk shall, within 2 business days, deliver to the voter first named on such 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 recall is sought and the grounds for recall as stated in the affidavit and shall demand the election of a successor to such 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 recall petition. The recall petition shall be signed by not less than 15 per cent of the registered voters in each precinct in the town, and to every signature shall be added the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number. The town clerk shall, within 2 business days following the date of such 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 voter in the town as of the date such 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 board of selectmen without delay, and the board of selectmen shall forthwith give to the elected officer whose recall is being sought, written notice of the receipt of the certificate and shall, if the officer sought to be removed does not resign within 5 days thereafter, thereupon order a recall election to be held not less than 60 nor more than 90 days after the date the board of selectmen call the election; provided however, that if any other town election is to occur within 100 days after the date of said certificate, the board of selectmen may, in its discretion, postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other elections. If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall elections has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as herein provided.

(d)  Any officer sought to be recalled may be a candidate to succeed themself, 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 same, shall all be in accordance with the law relating to election, 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 the office for the remainder of the incumbent’s 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 the incumbent’s successor, who shall 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 vacant.

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

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

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 such propositions. Just above said squares, there shall appear the direction "Vote for 1". Under the proposition shall appear the word "Candidates" and the direction "Vote for 1" and beneath this the names of candidates nominated as hereinbefore provided.

If a majority of the votes cast on the recall question 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 the votes cast on the recall question is in the negative, the ballot for 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, nor, 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 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 14, 2021.