Recall Reform Legislation Moving Quickly

Posted on December 5, 2012 by Dene Westbrook

The Michigan House passed a package of election reform bills dealing with recall of elected officials (House Bills 6058-6053). The changes include:

– 6058 – bar the circulation of a recall petition until the county election commission had determined it had sufficient clarity
– 6059 – changing from deciding whether or not to recall a person to requiring a recall election to pit an incumbent against another candidate
– 6059 – specify that after one recall election, no further petitions could be filed against the same incumbent during the same term of office.
– 6060 – require a county election commission to determine whether the reasons for the recall are stated both “factually and clearly.”  Currently, the petition is reviewed for “sufficient clarity” only.
– 6061 – limiting the recall election dates to the May and November election dates (removing February and August)
– 6063 – prohibit recall submissions if an elected official is in the first six months or last six months in that term

There was also a bill – HB 6062 – which did not pass committee. This bill would replace the chief judge of a county’s probate court on that county’s election commission with the county prosecutor. These commissions handle hearings to determine whether recall language is sufficiently clear. The League is following these bills as they are considered and move.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League. She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at [email protected].

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