Friday, February 14, 2014

Massachusetts: Lancaster to vote on recall law

Lancaster is set to vote on petitioning the legislature to allow the town to adopt the recall at a special town meeting on March 10. Here's the recall process:

First, an initial recall affidavit must be signed by at least 50 registered voters with their names and addresses and filed with the town clerk. That initial affidavit shall have the name of the officer, the office sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. The clerk then forwards the affidavit to the Board of Registrars for verification of signatures.
If the signatures are certified by the registrars, the town clerk will deliver to the first 10 signers of the affidavit a formal numbered printed recall petition sheet with the clerk's official seal affixed which will be addressed to the selectmen demanding the recall.
The clerk will fill out the top portion of the recall petition sheet with the name of the elected official to be recalled, the grounds for recall, and the names of the first 10 voters who signed the affidavit. The voters who asked for the recall election will have 30 days to file their recall petition sheets with signatures, names and street addresses of at least 10 percent, or approximately 465, registered voters in town.
The recall petition sheets will be certified by the registrars and, if enough signatures have been obtained, submitted to the Board of Selectmen. Written notice to the recalled official will be given and, if he/she does not resign within five calendar days, selectmen must order an election not less than 64 days or more than 90 days after receipt of the certified recall petition sheets. If there is any other town election scheduled to occur within 90 days, the recall election can be held in conjunction with that election.
Voters will be asked if they approve of the recalling of the named official and can also vote for a candidate to succeed the recalled official. If the majority of voters say no, the candidate votes will not be counted. The official being recalled can also be placed on the candidate's list without formal nomination.
Nominations for other candidates will require 30 signatures on nomination papers.
Any recalled official cannot be appointed to office for two years.

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