Inside208

Massive Changes Made to Recall Law

Posted on December 14, 2012 by sharkins

The Legislature has sent to the Governor bills that will change the recall process. They took a package of bills and condensed them into two bills – HB 6060 and 6063.

The bills will do the following:

– change the maximum number of days to circulate recall petitions from 90 days to 60 days.
– bar the submission of a recall petition against elected officials with terms longer than two years, such as senators who serve four years, in their first and last year in office. Currently, recall campaigns can win approval of the clarity of their petition from the county election commission and gather their signatures as soon as an elected official takes office, but cannot submit them until six months have passed.
– Require that recall elections are between the incmbent and an opponent in in a partisan election (with the opponent chosen by the local political party executive committee). Currently voters decide whether to keep or recall the incumbent and then hold a special election to replace the incumbent at a later date if the recall succeeds.
– require the reason stated by activists for the recall to be factual, not just clear.
– Recall petitions now go to the Board of State Canvassers instead of the county election commission for state legislators and statewide elected officials.
– When any targeted elected official challenges the language of the petition approving the language as to clarity and factuality in court, activists cannot circulate signatures until the courts rule.
– Recall elections would now be limited to the May and November regular election dates, taking the February and August dates out of the mix. The one exception is a recall election against the governor, which would be either on the February or August election dates. Additionally, a recall against the governor would not pit the incumbent against a candidate from the other major political party.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League. She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or by email at sharkins@mml.org.

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