Laws governing recall in Rhode Island

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The citizens of Rhode Island are granted the authority to perform a recall election by the Rhode Island Constitution Article 4 Section 1.

Signature requirements

The amount of valid signatures required to instigate a recall election is 15% of the total votes cast for said office in last general election.

Who can be recalled?

In Rhode Island, an official may be recalled if he or she "has been indicted or informed against for a felony, convicted of a misdemeanor, or against whom a finding of probable cause of violation of the code of ethics has been made by the ethics commission." Only the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney-general and general treasurer, may be subject to recall election.


As outlined in the Rhode Island Constitution: First a recall petition must be obtained from the state board of elections and signatures equal in number to 3% of the votes cast in the last election for that office must be gathered. After this takes place the state board of elections will issue a recall petition for circulation among the electors of the state. The petition must include a explanatory statement of not more than 100 words on why the official should be recalled. Petitioners will have 90 days to gather signatures equal in number to 15% of the votes for said office in the last general election. If the proper number of signatures have been gathered in 90 days and have been verified by the state board of elections, a date for the recall election will be set. If in that election a majority of the voters of the state vote for a recall of the official, then the office will be declared vacant and a separate election will take place.

Contact information

Rhode Island Board of Elections

50 Branch Ave. Providence, RI 02904-2790

(401) 222-2345

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