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Laws governing recall in Tennessee

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The recall of local elected government officials in Tennessee is governed by Tenn. Code Ann. §2-5-151, Tenn. Code Ann. §6-31-301 through Tenn. Code Ann. §6-31-307, Tenn. Code Ann. §6-36-102 and Tenn. Code Ann. §6-53-108.

Who may be recalled?

  • Local elected officials of charter cities or counties or other local "governmental entities," according to §2-5-151. However, "the provisions of this section shall not apply to any county having a metropolitan form of government and a population greater than one hundred thousand (100,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census."
  • "Any member of the board of education of the city elected or appointed to fill a vacancy," according to §6-31-301.
  • "Any council member of the city elected or appointed to fill a vacancy," according to §6-31-306.

Features of the law

Commencement

Recall petitions may be filed and circulated at any time after the election of the targeted official; however, there are limits as to when the recall election can take place, if the recall supporters collect enough signatures to force a recall.

Grounds must be stated

See also: Whether grounds for a recall are required

According to 6-53-108, the recall petition must "contain one (1) or more specific grounds for removal," but there is no statement as to what constitutes an acceptable grounds.

Signature requirements

  • According to 2-5-151, "petitions shall be signed by at least fifteen percent (15%) of those registered to vote in the municipality or county."
  • According to 6-31-301, which pertains to the recall of members of city Boards of Education, signatures of registered voters "equal in number to at least sixty-six percent (66%) of the total vote cast for the candidate for the board of education receiving the highest number of votes at the last regular election" are required to force a recall election.
  • According to 6-31-306, which pertains to the recall of members of city councils, signatures of "registered voters equal in number to at least sixty-six percent (66%) of the total vote cast for the office held by the incumbent at the last regular election" are required to force a recall election.

Time allowed to collect signatures

  • According to 2-5-151, "Completed petitions shall be filed with the county election commission within seventy-five (75) days after final certification [of the form of the recall petition] by the county election commission."
  • The statutes that govern the recall of members of school boards do not set a limit on how many days are allowed for collection of the required signatures.

Date of recall election

  • "The county election commission shall certify whether or not the completed petition meets all applicable requirements within thirty (30) days of filing of the completed petition."
  • Recall elections can't be scheduled in the period of 90 days before or 90 days after a regularly scheduled municipal election.

Supermajority vote required

  • According to 6-31-304, which pertains to recalls of members of city Boards of Education, a supermajority vote of "sixty-six percent (66%) of those voting" is required in order for the recall election to result in the recall of the targeted official.
  • According to 6-31-307, which pertains to recalls of members of city councils, a supermajority vote of "sixty-six percent (66%) of those voters [who vote in the election]" is required in order for the recall election to result in the recall of the targeted official.

See also

External links