Difference between revisions of "Laws governing recall in Michigan"

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PO Box 20126<br>
PO Box 20126<br>
Lansing, MI 48901<br>
Lansing, MI 48901<br>
Phone: 517.373.2540               517.373.2540      
Phone: 517.373.2540
==See also==
==See also==

Revision as of 17:40, 25 June 2013

Recall news
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The citizens of Michigan are granted the authority to perform a recall election by Section 8 of Article II of the Michigan Constitution. All elected officials in the state are subject to recall except judges of courts of record. This right of recall was created in 1908. Michigan and Oregon, which also created the right of recall in 1908, were the first two states to adopt statewide recall procedures.

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.[1]

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.[2]

Signature requirements

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

See also: Residency requirements for petition 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.

Clarity hearing

A "clarity/factual review" is the first step in the recall process. The reasons for the recall must be submitted for a clarity/factual hearing before the recall petition is placed in circulation.

  • 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.[2]

The process

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

1. Prior to circulating a recall petition the circulator must complete the information included with the petition.

  • 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

Petition filing

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.

Signature challenges

The officer may challenge the validity of a circulator or signer of the petition. This must be filed within 30 days after the filing of the recall petition.

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.[2]

Filling vacancies

If the recall is successful, a special election is conducted on the next regular election date to fill the office vacancy.

Contact information

Michigan Department of State
Bureau of Elections
PO Box 20126
Lansing, MI 48901
Phone: 517.373.2540

See also

External links