Recall Petitions…a “how to” guide

community activism

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 705 deals with “Plans of Government”.  The following section deals with the procedures to remove any elected official.

705.92 Procedure for removal of elective officer by recall.

Notwithstanding Section 38 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, or any other provisions in the Revised Code to the contrary, any elective officer of a municipal corporation may be removed from office by the qualified voters of such municipal corporation. The procedure to effect such removal shall be:

(A) A petition signed by qualified electors equal in number to at least fifteen per cent of the total votes cast at the most recent regular municipal election, and demanding the election of a successor to the person sought to be removed, shall be filed with the board of elections. A petition shall contain the required number of valid signatures upon submission to the board of elections. A petition is not valid after ninety days from the date of the first signature. A petition shall contain a general statement in not more than two hundred words of the grounds upon which the removal of the person is sought. The form, sufficiency, and regularity of any such petition shall be determined as provided in the general election laws.

(B) If the petition is sufficient, and if the person whose removal is sought does not resign within five days after the sufficiency of the petition has been determined, an election shall be held at the next primary or general election occurring more than ninety days from the date of the finding of the sufficiency of the petition. The election authorities shall publish notice and make all arrangements for holding the election, which shall be conducted and the result thereof returned and declared in all respects as are the results of regular municipal elections.

(C) The nomination of candidates to succeed each officer sought to be removed shall be made, without the intervention of a primary election, by filing with the election authorities, at least twenty days before the such special election, a petition proposing a person for each such office, signed by electors equal in number to ten per cent of the total votes cast at the most recent regular municipal election for the head of the ticket.

(D) The ballots at the recall election shall, with respect to each person whose removal is sought, submit the question: “Shall (name of person) be removed from the office of (name of office) by recall?

Immediately following each such question, there shall be printed on the ballots, the two propositions in the order set forth:

“For the recall of (name of person).

“Against the recall of (name of person).

Immediately to the left of the proposition shall be placed a square in which the electors may vote for either of the propositions.

Under each of the questions shall be placed the names of candidates to fill the vacancy. The name of the officer whose removal is sought shall not appear on the ballot as a candidate to succeed the officer’s self.

In any recall election, if a majority of the votes cast on the question of removal are affirmative, the person whose removal is sought shall be removed from office upon the announcement of the official canvass of that election, and the candidate receiving the plurality of the votes cast for candidates for that office shall be declared elected. The successor of any person so removed shall hold office during the unexpired term of the successor’s predecessor. The question of the removal of any officer shall not be submitted to the electors until such officer has served for at least one year of the term during which the officer is sought to be recalled. The method of removal provided in this section, is in addition to other methods of removal as are provided by law.

If, at any such recall election, the incumbent whose removal is sought is not recalled, the incumbent shall be repaid the incumbent’s actual and legitimate expenses for the election from the treasury of the municipal corporation, but such sum shall not exceed fifty per cent of the sum that the incumbent is by law permitted to expend as a candidate at any regular municipal election.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 463, §1, eff. 4/6/2017.

Effective Date: 08-22-1995 .

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