Laws governing recall in New Mexico

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The recall of local elected government officials in New Mexico is authorized in §9 of Article 10 of the New Mexico Constitution (county officials), in §14 of Article 12 (school officials), and in NMSA 3-14-16 (elected officials in commission-manager municipalities).

Who may be recalled?

  • Article X authorizes recall of elected officials of New Mexico's 33 counties.
  • Article XII authorizes recall of elected officials of school districts
  • NMSA 3-14-16 authorizes recall of elected officials of commission-manager municipalities.

Features of the law

Grounds for recall

See also: Grounds required for recall elections

Counties: Allowable grounds are "malfeasance or misfeasance in office or violation of the oath of office by the official concerned." The acts cited as grounds must have taken place during the elected official's current term in office.

School boards: Allowable grounds are "malfeasance or misfeasance in office or violation of the oath of office."

Commission-manager municipalities: The governing statute does not refer to any required grounds.

Signature requirements

New Mexico

Counties: Signatures equalling 33.3% of the number of voters who voted in the last election for the office held by the recall target are required to force a recall election.

School boards: "The recall petition shall be signed by registered voters not less in number than thirty-three and one-third percent of those who voted for the office at the last preceding election at which the office was voted upon."

Commission-manager municipalities: Signatures are required from "qualified electors in a number more than twenty percent of the average number of voters who voted at the previous four regular municipal elections or more than twenty percent of the number of voters who voted at the previous regular municipal election, whichever is the greater."

There is no time limit for gathering the required signatures.

Time limitation

Counties: A recall election cannot be conducted after May 1 in a calendar year in which an election is to be held for the office subject to the proposed recall.

See also