So, How does a recall election work?
With all the talk about Glacier County Treasurer, Mary Ann Boggs, in all the news outlets lately, we wondered exactly how this works. In case you did too, we did a little research...
Below is the Montana Code Annotated which outlines which officers are subject to recall.
|Montana Code Annotated:§ 2-16-603(1) Any person holding a public office of the state or any of its political subdivisions, either by election or appointment, is subject to recall from office.|
(2) A public officer holding an elective office may be recalled by the qualified electors entitled to vote for the elective officer's successor. A public officer holding an appointive office may be recalled by the qualified electors entitled to vote for the successor or successors of the elective officer or officers who have the authority to appoint a person to that position.
(3) Physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense enumerated in Title 45 are the only grounds for recall. A person may not be recalled for performing a mandatory duty of the office that the person holds or for not performing any act that, if performed, would subject the person to prosecution for official misconduct. History: En. Sec. 2, I.M. No. 73, approved November 2, 1976; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 364, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 59-612; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 398, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 109, Ch. 61, L. 2007.
Montana has the lowest percentage of signatures required for recalling elected officials in the country. It is only ten percent of voters who voted in the last general election for a statewide official and 15 percent of voters for a district official.
The process to recall an official in Montana begins with filing a petition with the Montana Secretary of State or the county election administrator and stating the reason for the official being recalled. The only reasons that an official in Montana may be recalled for a physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense. Once the signatures have been gathered they are sent to the Montana Secretary of State or the county election administrator for approval. The task of actually approving the signatures is done by the county clerk of each county. Each county clerk has 30 days to approve or disapprove of the signatures.
Conduct of election
After the petition signatures have been verified a recall election date is. The election is done on a yes/no ballot. The ballot simply states yes the official should be recalled and no the official should not be recalled. If the majority of voters vote to recall the official the office is considered vacant and a new election must be held to fill the vacancy. If a vacancy occurs within 85 days of the general election in the second year of the term (terms are for four years), the county board of commissioners appoints a successor to serve until the election.