Laws governing recall in Washington
Washington is one of nine states with provisions that say that the right of recall extends to recalling members of its federal congressional delegation, but it hasn't been clear whether federal courts would allow states to actually recall their federal politicians.
Grounds for recall
Article I, §33 of the Washington Constitution says that a recall can only occur if the targeted public official has engaged in the "commission of some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office."
This requirement has proven difficult to meet. A 2010 effort to initiate a recall campaign against members of the Seattle School Board after the board received a bad audit from the Washington State Auditor came to naught when a judge ruled that this constituted insufficient grounds under the state's constitution for a recall.
- Main article: Washington signature requirements
A petition for recall must include a specified number of valid signatures from registered voters determined as a percentage of total votes cast for all candidates who ran for the office in the most recent election contest. This amounts to:
- 25 percent for state officers, other than judges, senators and representatives; city officers of cities of the first class; school district boards in cities of the first class; county officers in counties of the first, second and third classes,
- 35 percent for officers of all other political subdivisions, cities, towns, townships, precincts, and school districts not otherwise mentioned; and state senators and representatives.
Appointment of successor
Following a successful recall election, the county board of commissioners appoints a successor to the office from a list submitted by a committee of the political party of the person recalled.
Washington State Elections Division
520 Union Avenue SE
PO Box 40229
Olympia, WA 98504-0229
- National Conference of State Legislatures, Statewide Recall
- Description of the recall process in Washington