States with gubernatorial recall provisions

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This page addresses the provisions for recalling an elected []Governor]] in the United States.

A recall is a special election, triggered by a citizen initiated petition, in which an incumbent officer holder is made to stand for a special election to keep his or her job.

Only 19 states allow for a recall election.


See also: Governor of Colorado

Recalls are governed under Article XXI, Sections 1 through 3

State officials, including the Governor, are subject to recall after the first six months of their term. by filing a petition with the same officer who accepts the nominating petition for the office in question. For example, as nominating petitions for statewide office are filed with the Secretary of State, the petition to recall a statewide officer would also be filed with the Secretary of State.

The petition must have valid signatures equal to 25% of the votes cast for the incumbent in the city, county, or municipality which the targeted incumbent represents. As the Governor is a statewide office, the petition threshold is 25% of all votes cast for governor in the last election.

Currently, that number would be 446,933, or 25% of 1,787,730, the total ballots cast in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

Additionally, the petition must contain a statement, not exceeding 200 words, stating the grounds for the recall.

Normally, the Governor is the officer charged with calling a recall election. However, if the Governor is the officer being recalled, charge of the recall election devolves to the Lieutenant Governor. The incumbent subject to recall has five days to resign before the presiding officer calls the recall election.

If the petition, once submitted, is insufficient, it may be withdrawn and, within 15 days, amended and refiled. Once determined to be sufficient, a recall petition shall be, along with a certificate, submitted to the Lieutenant Governor, who calls a recall election not less than 30 days and not more than 60 days from the date of the petition's filing. However, if a general election is set within 90 days, the recall election may be combined with the general election.

If the recall fails, the incumbent may not be recalled again for the remainder of his or her term. Additionally, an incumbent who survives a recall is legally entitled to reimbursement of certain expenses from the State Treasury.