Basics of a Recall Election

April 11, 2012 — 809 views  
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A recall election is an electoral device in the United States that allows citizens to remove an elected official from office before the end of that figure's term in office. Fourteen state constitutions allow for election recall for state officials and many more have similar measures in place for local public figures.

The basic procedure involves filing a recall Notice of Intent (NOI), followed by gathering signatures from eligible voters. Traditionally, the public needs to compile signings from approximately 25 percent of the number of people who voted for the official in the past election.

After the signatures have been collected and certified, the recall election is set up. The cost of this vote falls to the counties or districts in which the election is taking place.

When it comes time to vote, there are two parts citizens must fill out on their ballots. In the first section, people are asked if the current official should be removed from office. If over half of the voters answer that he or she should be removed, the public figure is recalled. The second part of the ballot includes the names of those running for the office. Voters can elect a new official through the second part of the vote, and the winning candidate will take office in place of the person who has been recalled.