Laws governing recall in Alaska

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The recall of elected government officials in Alaska is governed by Alaska Statute 29.26.240 through 29.26.360.

The recall law can be used to recall:

  • All elected public officers of Alaska, except for judges/judicial officers, including members of the Alaska State Legislature, the Governor of Alaska, and other statewide elected officials.
  • "An official who is elected or appointed to an elective municipal office."
  • Members of public school district school boards in the state.
  • Alaska's municipal governments include both home rule and charter governments, and the local recall law explicitly says that the state statute for local recall governs both "home rule and general law municipalities."

Article 3. Recall.

Sec. 29.26.240. Recall.

An official who is elected or appointed to an elective municipal office may be recalled by the voters after the official has served the first 120 days of the term for which elected or appointed. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985)

Sec. 29.26.250. Grounds for recall.

Grounds for recall. Grounds for recall are misconduct in office, incompetence, or failure to perform prescribed duties. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985)

Sec. 29.26.260. Application for recall petition.

  • (a) An application for a recall petition shall be filed with the municipal clerk and must contain
    • (1) the signatures and residence addresses of at least 10 municipal voters who will sponsor the petition;
    • (2) the name and address of the contact person and an alternate to whom all correspondence relating to the petition may be sent; and
    • (3) a statement in 200 words or less of the grounds for recall stated with particularity.
  • (b) An additional sponsor may be added at any time before the petition is filed by submitting the name of the sponsor to the clerk. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985; am § 14 ch 80 SLA 1989)

Effect of amendments.
The 1989 amendment, effective August 30, 1989, in paragraph (2) of subsection (a), substituted "name and address of the contact person and an alternate to whom" for "address to which" and added "and" to the end.

Sec. 29.26.270. Recall petition.

  • (a) If the municipal clerk determines that an application for a recall petition meets the requirements of AS 29.26.260, the clerk shall prepare a recall petition. All copies of the petition must contain
    • (1) the name of the official sought to be recalled;
    • (2) the statement of the grounds for recall as set out in the application for petition;
    • (3) the date the petition is issued by the clerk;
    • (4) notice that signatures must be secured within 60 days after the date the petition is issued;
    • (5) spaces for each signature, the printed name of each signer, the date of each signature, and the residence and mailing addresses of each signer;
    • (6) a statement, with space for the sponsor's sworn signature and date of signing, that the sponsor personally circulated the petition, that all signatures were affixed in the presence of the sponsor, and that the sponsor believes the signatures to be those of the persons whose names they purport to be; and
    • (7) space for indicating the number of signatures on the petition.
  • (b) The clerk shall notify the contact person in writing when the petition is available. That person is responsible for notifying sponsors. Copies of the petition shall be provided by the clerk to each sponsor who appears in the clerk's office and requests a petition, and the clerk shall mail the petition to each sponsor who requests that the petition be mailed. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985; am § 15 ch 80 SLA 1989)

Effect of amendments.
The 1989 amendment, effective August 30, 1989, in subsection (b), added the first two sentences and in the present third sentence inserted "by the clerk" and substituted the language beginning "who appears in the clerk's office" for "by the clerk."

Sec. 29.26.280. Signature requirements.

  • (a) The signatures on a recall petition shall be secured within 60 days after the date the clerk issues the petition. The statement provided under AS 29.26.270(a)(6) shall be completed and signed by the sponsor. Signatures shall be in ink or indelible pencil.
  • (b) The clerk shall determine the number of signatures required on a petition and inform the contact person in writing. If a petition seeks to recall an official who represents the municipality at large, the petition shall be signed by a number of voters equal to 25 percent of the number of votes cast for that office at the last regular election held before the date written notice is given to the contact person that the petition is available. If a petition seeks to recall an official who represents a district, the petition shall be signed by a number of the voters residing in the district equal to 25 percent of the number of votes cast in the district for that office at the last regular election held before the date the written notice is given to the contact person that the petition is available.
  • (c) Illegible signatures shall be rejected by the clerk unless accompanied by a legible printed name. Signatures not accompanied by a legible residence shall be rejected.
  • (d) A petition signer may withdraw the signer's signature upon written application to the clerk before certification of the petition. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985; am § 16 ch 80 SLA 1989)

Effect of amendments.
The 1989 amendment, effective August 30, 1989, in subsection (b), substituted "the contact person in writing" for "each sponsor" at the end of the first sentence, substituted "written notice is given to the contact person that the petition is available" for "the petition was issued" at the end of the second sentence, and substituted "written notice is given to the contact person that the petition is available" for "petition was issued" at the end of the third sentence.

Sec. 29.26.290. Sufficiency of petition.

  • (a) The copies of a recall petition shall be assembled and filed as a single instrument. A petition may not be filed within 180 days before the end of the term of office of the official sought to be recalled. Within 10 days after the date a petition is filed, the municipal clerk shall
    • (1) certify on the petition whether it is sufficient; and
    • (2) if the petition is insufficient, identify the insufficiency and notify the contact person by certified mail.
  • (b) A petition that is insufficient may be supplemented with additional signatures obtained and filed before the 11th day after the date on which the petition is rejected if
    • (1) the petition contains an adequate number of signatures, counting both valid and invalid signatures; and
    • (2) the supplementary petition is filed more than 180 days before the end of the term of office of the official sought to be recalled.
    • (c) A petition that is insufficient shall be rejected and filed as a public record unless it is supplemented under (b) of this section. Within 10 days after the supplementary filing the clerk shall re-certify the petition. If it is still insufficient, the petition is rejected and filed as a public record. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985; am § 17 ch 80 SLA 1989)

Effect of amendments.
The 1989 amendment, effective August 30, 1989, substituted "contact person" for "sponsors at the address provided under AS 29.26.260(a)(2)" in paragraph (2) of subsection (a).

Sec. 29.26.300. New recall petition application.

A new application for a petition to recall the same official may not be filed sooner than six months after a petition is rejected as insufficient. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985)

Sec. 29.26.310. Submission.

If a recall petition is sufficient, the clerk shall submit it to the governing body at the next regular meeting or at a special meeting held before the next regular meeting. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985)

Sec. 29.26.320. Election.

  • (a) If a regular election occurs within 75 days but not sooner than 45 days after submission of the petition to the governing body, the governing body shall submit the recall at that election.
  • (b) If no regular election occurs within 75 days, the governing body shall hold a special election on the recall question within 75 days but not sooner than 45 days after a petition is submitted to the governing body.
  • (c) If a vacancy occurs in the office after a sufficient recall petition is filed with the clerk, the recall question may not be submitted to the voters. The governing body may not appoint to the same office an official who resigns after a sufficient recall petition is filed naming that official. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985)

Sec. 29.26.330. Form of recall ballot.

A recall ballot must contain

  • (1) the grounds for recall as stated in 200 words or less on the recall petition;
  • (2) a statement by the official named on the recall petition of 200 words or less, if the statement is filed with the clerk for publication and public inspection at least 20 days before the election;
  • (3) the following question: "Shall (name of person) be recalled from the office of (office)? Yes [ ] No [ ]."(§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985; am § 18 ch 80 SLA 1989)

Effect of amendments.
The 1989 amendment, effective August 30, 1989, substituted "at least 20 days" for " within 20 days" in paragraph (2).

Sec. 29.26.340. Effect.

  • (a) If a majority vote favors recall, the office becomes vacant upon certification of the recall election.
  • (b) If an official is not recalled at the election, and application for a petition to recall the same official may not be filed sooner than six months after the election. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985)

Sec. 29.26.350. Successors.

  • (a) If an official is recalled from the governing body, the office of that official is filled in accordance with AS 29.20.180. If all members of the governing body are recalled, the governor shall appoint three qualified persons to the governing body. The appointees shall appoint additional members to fill remaining vacancies in accordance with AS 29.20.180.
  • (b) If a member of the school board is recalled, the office of that member is filled in accordance with AS 14.12.070. If all members are recalled from a school board, the governor shall appoint three qualified persons to the school board. The appointees shall appoint additional members to fill remaining vacancies in accordance with AS 14.12.070.
  • (c) A person who has been recalled may not be appointed under (a) or (b) of this section to the office from which the person was recalled. A person appointed under (a) or (b) of this section serves until a successor is elected and takes office.
  • (d) If an official other than a member of the governing body or school board is recalled, a successor shall be elected to fill the unexpired portion of the term. The election shall be held not more than 60 days after the date the recall election is certified, except that if a regular election occurs within 75 days after certification the successor shall be chosen at that election.
  • (e) Nominations for a successor may be filed until seven days before the last date on which a first notice of the election must be given. Nominations may not be filed before the certification of the recall election. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985; am §19 ch 80 SLA 1989)
    • Effect of amendments. —** The 1989 amendment, effective August 30, 1989, added the first sentence in subsection (c).

Sec. 29.26.360. Application.

AS 29.26.250 - 29.26.360 apply to home rule and general law municipalities. (§ 9 ch 74 SLA 1985)

See also

External links

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