Laws governing recall in Arizona
The authority to conduct a recall election in Arizona applies to "Every public officer in the state of Arizona, holding an elective office, either by election or appointment."
Filing the recall petition
A recall can be filed against any public officer on any grounds.
The recall may not be filed until after the elected official has been in office in his or her first term for at least six months. This six-month limit does not apply to state legislators. In the case of state legislators, a recall petition may commence five days after the start of their first legislative session after their election. In the case of other elected officials, there is no six-month limit for subsequent terms in office.
The petition must contain a general statement explain the recall and not exceed 200 words. This petition must be signed by the sponsors who swear an oath that all signatures collected will be valid signatures.
- Main article: Arizona signature requirements
The signature requirement is 25 percent of the number of votes cast in the last election for that office.
For this reason not many statewide recalls are successful. However, the voters managed to collect enough petition signatures to trigger a recall election of Governor Mecham in 1988. Before the scheduled recall election took place the state legislature removed the governor from office using the impeachment process. Local recalls are very common in Arizona however.
If enough signatures are gathered, a recall election will be held. All qualified candidates can run against the incumbent. Whoever gets the most votes wins the office. If the incumbent wins he/she remains in office and no other recall can take place during that term unless the proponents pay the cost of the prior recall election.
- National Conference of State Legislators, Recall overview
- Arizona Direct Democracy fact sheet
- Arizona Recall law