Laws governing recall in Michigan
Michigan 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.
Michigan politicians who are otherwise subject to recall cannot be recalled in the first six months, or the last six months, of their current term in office.
- Main article: Michigan signature requirements
The number of valid signatures required to force a recall election is equal to 25 percent of the number of persons that voted in the last preceding election for the office of Governor of Michigan in the electoral district of the officer sought to be recalled.
Restrictions on circulators
Michigan's recall statutes require that circulators reside in the relevant jurisdiction of the politician whose recall is under consideration. In 2008, a federal lawsuit Bogaert v. Land was filed challenging this part of the statute as unconstitutional. In August 2008, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in the case, ordering Michigan Secretary of State Terri Land to count signatures her office had previously discarded in the Andy Dillon recall (2008) effort based on Land's view that the signatures had been collected by non-residents.
- The clarity/factual determination is rendered by the County Election Commission established in the county where the officer resides. The county clerk, county treasure and chief judge of probate serve as the commission.
1. A registered voter in the electoral district of the one being recalled submits the reasoning to the county clerk. Reasons for the recall must relate to the officer's conduct during his/her current term in office.
2. Within twenty-four hours of the submission, the officer must notified of the filing of the petition language, the date, the contents, and the time, date and location of the clarity/factual hearing.
- The clarity/factual hearing must be held between the 10 and the 20th day after the filing.
- When the hearings are held, the function the County Election Commission is determine how clear and factual the reason for the recall appears to constituents. The commission does not have authority to rule on the reasons for the recall.
- Failure to have a hearing rules in favor of the sponsors of the recall
- Ruling by the commission may be appealed by the officer or sponsor
Preparation and Circulation
- Dual recall petitions may not circulated on the same petition.
2. Circulators and signers must be qualified registered electors in the electoral district of the official. 3. Singers must be registered to vote in the city or township specified in the heading of the petition--they do not operate on a county wide basis.
- If a cursive signature, date, and residential address are not included than the signature is invalid.
- Signatures must be gathered in a 60 day period
- See also: Michigan signature requirements
Petitions must contain signatures equalling 25% of the number of people in the political jurisdiction who voted in the state's most recent gubernatorial election.
A recall petition is filed with the Secretary of State unless it is a recall of the Secretary of State in which case it would be filed with the Governor. Local recalls are filed with the county clerk.
- A recall may not be filed against an officer elected for a two year term who has held a term for less than six months or only has six months remaining in their term.
- A recall may not be filed against an officer elected for a term longer than two years who has held a term for less than one year or only has one year remaining in their term.
- An officer may continue to perform their duties until a recall elections occurs
Process recall petitions
When a recall petition is filed, the filing official will examine it to verify that the petition is in proper form and has the gross number of signatures required for qualification. The examination of the petition must occur by the 7th day after the filing.
Next the official will verify all the signatures, which must happen by the 22nd day after filing of the recall petition. If the officer resigns-all recall motions are stopped.
Final petition review
If or when a signature review is challenged the filing official has till the 35th day after the filing to complete the task. The officer is then responsible for notifying the officer and sponsor of the recall of the sufficiency or insufficiency.
- If sufficient then an election will be held on the next general election date that is not less than 95 days after the date the recall petition was filed.
Canvass and Certification
The Board of State Canvassers is responsible for canvassing and certifying a special election held to recall a state officer or county officer.
Text of measure
The recall ballot contains both the reasons presented by recall advocates for a recall and a "justification of conduct in office" statement of up to 200 words which is submitted by the targeted politician.
If the recall is successful, a special election is conducted on the next regular election date to fill the office vacancy.
Michigan Department of State
Bureau of Elections
PO Box 20126
Lansing, MI 48901
Phone: 517.373.2540 517.373.2540
- Recalls in Michigan targeting school board members who vote for privatization
- Recall campaigns in Michigan
- National Conference of State Legislatures, Statewide Recall
- Michigan Secretary of State, Recall Procedures