Recall Information

Chronological Recall Activity:


 2005  2010 2014
2006 
2011
2007 2012
2008

2013


 2009 - None



Officers Subject to Recall

Each elective officer, except a judicial officer, is subject to recall by the voters of the electoral district in which the officer is elected as provided in this chapter. If an officer's term of office is 2 years or less, a recall petition shall not be filed against the officer until the officer has actually performed the duties of the office to which elected for a period of 6 months during the current term of that office and a recall petition shall not be filed against an officer during the last 6 months of the officer's term of office. If an officer's term of office is more than 2 years, a recall petition shall not be filed against the officer until the officer has actually performed the duties of the office to which elected for a period of 1 year during the current term of office and a recall petition shall not be filed against an officer during the last 1 year of the officer's term of office. An officer sought to be recalled shall continue to perform the duties of his or her office until the result of the recall election is certified.

Sponsor of Recall Wording

Must be a registered voter in the same district as officeholder to be recalled.

Steps to Recall an Official

1. Submission of Recall Petition

Sponsors of a recall effort submit a petition containing the reasons for recall to the Board of County Election Commissioners. Typically this is done through the County Clerk of the county where the officeholder resides. The language must be submitted to the county clerk on the proposed recall petition form prescribed by the Secretary of State. A separate submission must be made for each officer whose recall is sought. The county clerk accepting the petition language issues a receipt to the sponsor of the language, which shows the sponsor's name, address, phone number, and the date of the filing.

Within 24 hours of receiving the recall petition, the Election Commission notifies the officer whose recall is sought of each reason stated in the recall petition and of the date of the meeting of the Election Commission to consider whether each reason is factual and of sufficient clarity.

THE FILING OFFICIAL FOR RECALL PETITIONS VARIES BY OFFICE:

  • Recall Petitions for the offices of County Commissioner, Township, City, Village, and School officials are to be submitted to the County Election Commission.
  • Recall Petitions for the offices of Senator, Representative, Elective State Officers, and County Officials (other than County Commissioner) are to be submitted to the Secretary of State.
  • Recall Petitions for the office of Secretary of State are to be submitted to the Governor.

2. Hearing to Determine if Language is Clear Held at County Level

The County Election Commission is required to meet sometime between the 10th and 20th day after the filing of the recall language. When the required meeting is held, the function of the Board is to determine whether each reason for the recall stated in the petition is of sufficient clarity to enable the officer whose recall is sought and the electors to identify the course of conduct that is the basis for the recall. If any reason for the recall is not of sufficient clarity, the entire recall petition shall be rejected. Failure of the board of county election commissioners to meet as required by this subsection shall constitute a determination that each reason for the recall stated in the petition is of sufficient clarity to enable the officer whose recall is being sought and the electors to identify the course of conduct that is the basis for the recall.

The officer whose recall is sought and the sponsors of the petition may appear at the meeting and present arguments on the factuality and clarity of the petition language (168.952(3)).

The determination by the Election Commission may be appealed by the officer whose recall is sought or by the sponsors of the recall petition drive to the circuit court in the county. The appeal shall be filed not more than 10 days after the determination of the Election Commission. If a determination of the board of county election commissioners is appealed to the circuit court in the county, the recall petition is not valid for circulation and shall not be circulated until a determination of whether each reason is factual and of sufficient clarity is made by the circuit court or until 40 days after the date of the appeal, whichever is sooner. A petition is not valid for circulation if at any time a circuit court determines that each reason on the recall petition is not factual and of sufficient clarity.

3. Preparation and Circulation of Recall Petitions, Campaign Finance Requirements

If the Election Commission or, on appeal, the Circuit Court determines the reasons for recall to be sufficiently clear, the petition may be freely circulated for signatures.

Forming a Political Committee
Sponsors of a recall that receive or spend $500.00 or more in a calendar year are required to form a Political Committee and file all appropriate campaign finance reports. All Campaign Finance reports are filed with the County Clerk.

The Petition Form
Recall petitions must conform to the specifications prescribed by the Secretary of State (168.952). A separate petition must be circulated for each officer whose recall is sought (168.958a). Recall language printed on the recall petitions that are circulated must be the same language approved by the Board of County Election Commissioners or Circuit Court (168.952).

Circulation of Recall Petitions
Recall petitions are circulated within the district represented by the officer whose recall is sought (168.954).  Before a recall petition can be circulated, the circulator must complete the "heading" of each petition sheet by filling in the following:

1. the county and city or township where the sheet will be circulated, or

2. the village where the sheet will be circulated.

      The sheet may not be circulated outside of the jurisdiction listed in the sheet heading. (NOTE: recall petitions may not be circulated on a "countywide" basis.)

      The circulator may not leave a recall petition unattended in a public place; all signatures must be signed in the presence of the circulator (168.957).

      The circulator must complete and date the certificate on the bottom of the petition sheet after gathering the last signature he or she intends to collect on the sheet. Signatures on a sheet which are dated after the date on the circulator's certificate are not counted (168.958).

Signers of Recall Petitions
Signers of recall petitions must be registered to vote in the electoral district of the official whose recall is sought. Each signer must list his or her signature, address, zip code and the date of signing. If the recall petition is circulated within a city or school district that crosses county lines, each signer must be instructed to execute his or her signature on a petition sheet bearing the name of his or her county of residence in the heading (168.954).

All signatures must be signed in the presence of the circulator (168.957).

A signer is not permitted to sign for anyone else. For example: a wife may not sign for her husband (168.957).

Number of Signatures Needed
The number of signatures needed to call a recall election for an officer is 25% of the votes cast in the officer's district for all candidates for the office of Governor at the last November general election. The County Clerk can provide this number.

Signatures on a recall petition dated more than 60 days before the filing of the petition are invalid (168.961).

4. Submission of Petitions

Petitions for recall are filed with the County Clerk. All Petitions must be filed at the same time. Once filed, the Clerk has 7 days to determine if the recall petition is in proper form and shall determine the number of signatures on the petition (168.961). Final Certification must be made within 35 days after the filing of the recall petition (169.962).

Challenging the Petitions
Within 30 days after the filing of the petition the officer whose recall is sought may challenge the validity of signatures (168.961a).

5. Recall Election

  • Recall Election for County Commissioner, Township, City, Village, or School officials:

In an instance where a recall petition is determined sufficient for the office of county commissioner, township, city, village, or school official, or district library board member, the county clerk is required to schedule a special recall election on the next May or November regular election date, whichever is sooner, that is not less than 95 days after the recall petition is filed (MCL 168.963(2)).

Unless the incumbent declines within 10 days after the filing of a recall petition, the incumbent shall, without filing, be deemed to have filed for the recall election and his or her name shall appear on the recall election ballot.

If the recall election involves a nonpartisan office, a candidate for that nonpartisan office shall be nominated and voted for in the recall election by filing a nominating petition or paying a $100.00 nonrefundable fee not later than 4 p.m. on the tenth day after the filing official with whom the recall petition is filed calls the recall election.

If the recall election involves a partisan office, a political party candidate shall be nominated for that partisan office as follows:

  • If the office is in the office of county commissioner or in a district office within an electoral district of 1 county, the county executive committee of the political party shall nominate a candidate for that office.

  • If the office is in a district office within an electoral district in less than 1 county and 3 or more members of the county executive committee of a political party reside in the electoral district, the members of the county executive committee of the political party residing in the electoral district shall nominate a candidate for that office. If the office is in a district office within an electoral district in less than 1 county and less than 3 members of the county executive committee (as a whole) of a political party reside in the electoral district, the county executive committee of the political party shall nominate a candidate for that office.

  •  If the office is in a district office having an electoral district in more than 1 county, the members of the several county executive committees of the political party residing in those parts of the counties that are in the district shall nominate a candidate for that office.

  •  If the office is in a ward or township office and 3 or more members of the county executive committee of a political party reside in the ward or township, the members of the county executive committee of the political party residing in that ward or township shall nominate a candidate for that office. If the office is in a ward or township office and less than 3 members of the county executive committee of a political party reside in the ward or township, the county executive committee (as a whole) of the political party shall nominate a candidate for that office.

If the incumbent candidate declines to be a candidate at the recall election the political party of that incumbent candidate shall nominate a candidate. Each nomination by a committee shall be certified to the County Clerk within 10 days after the calling of the recall election.

A candidate without a political party affiliation may qualify for a partisan office by filing a qualifying petition with the County Clerk within 10 days after the calling of the recall election.

  • Recall Primary and General Election for County Officers other than County Commissioner:

In an instance where a recall petition is determined by the SECRETARY OF STATE to be sufficiently clear and factual, the Secretary of State is required to schedule a primary recall election on the next regular election date that is not less than 95 days after the recall petition is filed (MCL 168.963(2)).

Unless the incumbent declines within 10 days after the filing of a recall petition, the incumbent shall be the nominee of that  political party at the recall general election to be held subsequent to the recall primary election and that political party shall not participate in the recall primary election.

Political party candidates may qualify for the recall primary election by filing a nominating petition or paying a $100.00 nonrefundable fee with the Secretary of State not later than 4 p.m. on the tenth day after the recall primary election is called.

The candidate of each political party receiving the greatest number of votes cast for candidates at the recall primary election as set forth in the report of the board of state canvassers, based on the returns from the various election precincts, shall be declared the nominee of that political party at the recall general election to be held on the next February regular election date or the next August regular election date, whichever occurs first. In addition, except as otherwise provided in this section, a candidate without a political party affiliation may qualify for the recall general election by filing a qualifying petition with the Secretary of State within 10 days after the recall general election is scheduled. An individual who was an unsuccessful candidate in the recall primary election may not subsequently file a qualifying petition as a candidate without a political party affiliation for the recall general election.

The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the recall general election is elected for the remainder of the term.

In the event a petition is filed for the recall of an officer having duties to perform in connection with the election, the county clerk will discharge the duties of the election (MCL 168.965).

6. Results of Recall Election

For the offices of County Commissioner, Township, City, Village, or School officials: The county board of canvassers certifies the election (168.968). For all other offices, the state board of canvassers certifies the election.

The county clerk shall notify the clerk or secretary of the jurisdiction and the officer subject to recall immediately upon certification (168.968).

If Recall Unsuccessful:

  - The officer is not subject to recall again during same term.

If Recall Successful:

- The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the recall election is elected for the remainder of the term.

 


 

County Board of Election Commissioners

Chair - Nancy Wheeler, Judge of the Probate Court
Secretary - Lawrence Kestenbaum, County Clerk/Register
Member - Catherine McClary, County Treasurer

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