Laws governing recall in Kansas

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The citizens of Kansas are granted the authority to perform a recall election by Section 2 of Article 4 of the Kansas Constitution. The right of recall applies to all elected officers except federal officials and judges.

Officials subject to recall

Chapter 25, Article 43 of Kansas state statutes defines two separate categories of elected officials that can be recalled: state officers and local officers. National officeholders and judicial officers are not subject to recall.[1]

  • Local officers are defined as any other elected officials (excluding those not subject to recall). Procedures and requirements for recalling these officers are handled separately by each local jurisdiction.

Recall process

Grounds for recall

In Kansas, the specific grounds for the recall of state officers are defined as follows:[2]

  • conviction for a felony,
  • misconduct in office,
  • incompetence, or
  • failure to perform duties prescribed by law.

No recall election - once held - can be made void due to the insufficiency of the grounds, application or petition by which the submission was originally procured.[2]

Application for intent to recall

An application to recall an officer cannot be filed within the first 120 days or the last 200 days of the official's term.[3]

State officials

To launch a recall effort, supporters must submit the following:

  • An application indicating the targeted official
  • Statement of grounds for recall not to exceed 200 words
  • Statement that sponsor is resident of Kansas and eligible to vote
  • Designation of recall committee with three sponsors
  • List of 100 sponsors to circulate petition
  • Signatures of registered voters equaling 10 percent of votes cast in last gubernatorial election
  • $100 fee[4]

The application must be submitted to the secretary of state's office, with the exception of recalls for the secretary of state's office in which case the application is submitted to the lieutenant governor's office.[3]

Local officials

Similar to recalling a state official, sponsors of a local official recall must submit an application. The application must be filed with the county election officer. Specifically, the applicable county is the county in which all or a large portion of the population of the region in which the local officer was elected. If the recall pertains to the county election officer then the application must be submitted to the county attorney.[5]

The application form requires the following information:[6]

  • the name and office of the local officer being recalled,
  • the grounds for recall (no more than 200 words),
  • statement that the petition sponsors are registered voters of the district in which the local officer was elected,
  • name and addresses of three registered voters to comprise the recall committee,
  • statement of warning,
  • a list of sponsors (state residents and qualified voters) authorized to circulate the petition.

Recall process

Petition signatures required

State officials: The number of valid signatures required for a recall election is 40 percent of the number of persons that voted in the last preceding general election for the office of the targeted incumbent.[7]

Local officials: For recall efforts targeting a local official, a minimum of 40 percent of the last general election for the current term of office of the local officer being targeted. However, if the election resulted in more than one person being elected to the office (i.e. school board elections) the number of signatures is a minimum of 40 percent of the votes cast in the election for all candidates of the office divided by the number of persons elected.[8]

Time to collect signatures

The recall petition has 90 days in which it can be circulated. The countdown begins after the county or district attorney have verified the grounds for the recall in the proposed petition.[9]

Scheduling recall elections

A recall election is held no sooner than 60 days and no later than 90 days after signatures are certified by the applicable election officer.[4]

Contact information

Kansas Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
(785) 296-4561
Email: sos@sos.ks.gov

See also

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