A conservative grassroots effort to recall California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has garnered enough valid signatures to make the ballot, state election officials announced on Monday. This will be the second such election in California’s history.
A retired county sheriff’s sergeant, Orrin Heatlie, launched the recall effort last year. His signature collection effort began last June and then picked up momentum in the fall as frustration grew over Newsom’s anti-constitutional coronavirus-related actions. “Our work is just beginning. Now the real campaign is about to commence,” explained Heatlie.
The California secretary of state’s office said more than 1.6 million signatures had been deemed valid as of Monday, about 100,000 more than required. “The people of California have done what the politicians thought would be impossible,” exclaimed Heatlie.
The retired sheriff’s sergeant chose to pursue a recall in early 2020 due to left-wing Newsom’s dangerous support for illegals and other radical policies. Newsom instructed illegals not to open their doors to law enforcement unless officers had a warrant. Heatlie was incensed by Newsom’s insult to his profession.
You Can Start Your A Recall Campaign in Your State
Why should Americans wait to recall a dangerous or inept elected official? Sometimes, those in positions of power exploit their position for personal gain or to further a subversive agenda. There is recourse for voters who can’t wait until the election in many states.
Thirty-nine states in America have provisions allowing for recall of certain elected officials at the local and/or state level. Heatlie heroic actions should serve as a motivation to other conservatives across America.
A 52-year-old retired county sheriff’s sergeant with zero political experience was able to penetrate the center of California’s political world and force the recall election of a major Democratic politician.
On his own, Heatlie began by researching recall campaigns. He joined an existing effort to recall Newsom, which he describes as a “training mission.” By joining another recall, effort allowed him to network and connect with people who would later work with him when he formed his own recall effort.
Twenty-one months later, Heatlie and his team were able to gather 1.6 million signatures, and now later this year, Californians will get to choose whether to remove Newsom from office.
A retired county sheriff’s sergeant led a historical movement through dedication and hard work. To learn more about Heatlie and his grassroots effort, read here. Also, read the inspiring story of a plumber, Victor Head, who successfully recalled two anti-second amendment state Senators in Colorado. We hope his efforts inspire other Americans to take action in their states.
The following information below is reprinted from Ballotpedia
The information on this page is meant for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Those interested in initiating a recall should consult with their local authoritative bodies.
Laws governing recall
39 states have provisions allowing for recall of certain elected officials at the local and/or state level.
Recall is a process by which citizens may remove elected officials their positions before the end of their term. It should not be confused with the legislative process of removing officials called impeachment. It should also not be confused with retention elections held in some states for members of the judiciary.
Recall election of state officials
There are provisions for recalls elections of state officers in 19 states. The process begins with a petition drive and end with an election.
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
Recall trial of state officials
Virginia has a process of recall by which a trial in the state Circuit Courts is petitioned. Virginia is the only state to use this process. Virginia laws clearly state local officials can be recalled. Whether this would apply to state level officers is unclear given ambiguous legal language and issues with the jurisdiction of the court. There is no precedent of a Virginia state legislature or governor having faced recall.
State officials that can be recalled
The following table indicates which elected state officials (in general) can be recalled based on state law.
|Alaska||“All elected public officials in the State, except judicial officers, are subject to recall…” (AK Con. Art. 11, §8)|
|Arizona||“Every public officer in the state of Arizona, holding an elective office, either by election or appointment, is subject to recall…” (AZ Con. Art. 8, §1-6)|
|California||“Recall is the power of the electors to remove an elective officer.” (CA Con. Art. 2, §13-19)|
|Colorado||“Every elective public officer of the state of Colorado may be recalled…” (CO Con. Art. 21)|
|Georgia||“The General Assembly is hereby authorized to provide by general law for the recall of public officials who hold elective office…” (GA Con. Art. 2, §2.4)|
|Idaho||“Every public officer in the state of Idaho, excepting the judicial officers, is subject to recall…” (ID Con. Art. 6, §6)|
|Illinois||(Governor Only)||“The recall of the Governor may be proposed…” (IL Con. Art. 3, §7)|
|Kansas||“All elected public officials in the state, except judicial officers, shall be subject to recall by voters…” (Article 4, §3)|
|Louisiana||“The legislature shall provide by general law for the recall by election of any state, district, parochial, ward, or municipal official except judges of the courts of record…” (LA Con. Art. 10, §26)|
|Michigan||“Laws shall be enacted to provide for the recall of all elective officers except judges of courts of record…” (MI Con. Art. 2, §8)|
|Minnesota||“A member of the senate or the house of representatives, an executive officer of the state identified in section 1 of article V of the constitution, or a judge of the supreme court, the court of appeals, or a district court is subject to recall from office by the voters…” (MN Con. Art. 8, §6)|
|Montana||“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…” (MT Ann. Code 2-16-6)|
|Nevada||||“Every public officer in the State of Nevada is subject, as herein provided, to recall from office…” (NV Con. Art. 2, §9)|
|New Jersey||“The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress…” (NJ Con. Art. 1, §2(b))|
|North Dakota||“Any elected official of the state, of any county or of any legislative or county commissioner district shall be subject to recall…” (ND Con. Art. 3, §10)|
|Oregon||“Every public officer in Oregon is subject, as herein provided, to recall by the electors of the state or of the electoral district from which the public officer is elected…” (OR Con. Art. 2, §18)|
|Rhode Island||“The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney-general, general treasurer shall be … subject to recall…” (RI Con. Art. 4, §1)|
|Virginia||||||“Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court…” (VA Code 24.2-233)|
|Washington||“Every elective public officer of the state of Washington expect [except] judges of courts of record is subject to recall…” (WA Con. Art. 1, Sec. 33-34)|
|Wisconsin||“The qualified electors of the state, of any congressional, judicial or legislative district or of any county may petition for the recall of any incumbent elective officer…” (WI Con. Art. 13, §12)|
Specific provisions for state officer recalls
The following table indicates some basic information regarding laws governing recall laws on state officers.
|State||Legal Provisions||Signature Requirement||Petition Time|
|Alaska||Article 11, §8||Alaska Statutes §15.45 Art. 3 and §29.26 Art. 3||25% of the last votes cast for the office||—|
|Arizona||Article 8, §1-6||Arizona Revised StatutesTitle 19, Chapter 2||25% of the last votes cast for the office||120 days|
|California||Article 2, §13-19||California Election Code Division 11||statewide officers’: 12% of the last vote casts for the office (signatures from each of 5 counties equal in number to 1% of the last vote for the office in the county)|
Senate, Assembly, Board of Equalization, Courts of Appeals, and trial courts: 20% of the last votes cast for the office.
|Colorado||Article 21||Colorado Revised Statute Title 1, Art. 12, Part 1 and Title 31, Art. 4, Part 5||25% of the last votes cast for the office||60 days|
|Georgia||Article 2, §2.4||Georgia Code Title 21, Chapter 4||statewide officers: 15% of eligible voters for the office at last election (1/5 from each congressional district)Others: 30% of eligible voters for the office at last election||90 days|
|Idaho||Article 6, §6||Idaho Statutes Title 34, Chapter 17||20% of eligible voters for the office at last election||60 days|
|Illinois||Article 3, §7||—||15% of the last votes cast for governor from each of at least 25 counties (plus 20 members of the House, 10 members of the Senate, no more than half for each chamber from one party)||150 days|
|Kansas||Article 4, §3||Kansas Statutes Chapter 25, Article 43||40% of the last votes cast for the office||90 days|
|Louisiana||Article 10, §26||Louisiana Election Code RS 18:1300.1 to 18:1300.17||33.3% of eligible voters for the office at last election (if >1,000 eligible voters)|
40% of eligible voters for the office at last election (if <1,000 eligible voters)
|Michigan||Article 2, §8||Michigan Compiled Laws Chapter 168, Michigan Election law 116-1954, Chapter XXXVI||25% of the last votes cast for the office||90 days|
|Minnesota||Article 8, §6||Minnesota Statutes Chapter 211C||25% of the last votes cast for the office||90 days|
|Montana||—||Montana Annotated Code Title 2, Chapter 16, Part 6||statewide officers: 10% of eligible voters for the office at last election|
For district officers: 15% of eligible voters for the office at last election
|Nevada||Article 2, §9||Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 306, 294A.006, and 539.160 to 539.187||25% of the last votes cast for the office||60 days|
|New Jersey||Article 1, §2(b)||New Jersey Statutes Title 19:27A-1 to 19:27A-18||25% of registered voters in the district for the office||Governor / U.S. Senator: 320 days|
Others: 160 days
|North Dakota||Article 3, §1 and §10||North Dakota Chapter 16.1-01-09.1 and Chapter 44-08-21||25% of the last votes cast for the office||—|
|Oregon||Article 2, §18||Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 249.865 to 249.887 (dead link)||15% of all votes cast for governor in last general election in the district for the office||90 days|
|Rhode Island||Article 4, §1||—||15% of the last votes cast for the office||90 days|
|Virginia||—||Virginia Code Title 24.2-233 to 24.2-238||10% of the last votes cast for the office||—|
|Washington||Article 1, Sec. 33-34||Revised Code of Washington Chapter 29A.56.110 to 29A.56.270||statewide officers: 25% of the last votes cast for the office|
Others: 35% of the last votes cast for the office
|Statewide officers: 270 days|
Others: 180 days
|Wisconsin||Article 13, §12||Wis. Stat. Ann. §9.10||25% of all votes cast for governor in last general election in the district for the office||60 days|
Choosing a successor
There are three general methods used to choose a successor for a position as a result of a recall election.
Simultaneous Election — The (potential) successor is chosen on the same ballot. This is used in:
Separate Special Election — The successor is chosen in a special election following the recall election. This is used in:
Appointment — The successor is appointed. This is used in:
Recall of local officials
There are 39 states that allow for recall of local elected officials. This may only apply in limited situations in some states, which is generally listed below. Other states not listed may also have limited local recall due to home rule provisions. In those cases, the states allow cities and counties to adopt their own charters, which could then provide for local recall, even if no other city or county in the state allows it.
States with provisions for recall of local officials:
- Alabama (Limited to municipal commissioners and mayors)
- Arkansas (Limited)
- Florida (Limited to cities and counties)
- Maine (Limited to charter cities and towns with recall provisions)
- Massachusetts (Limited)
- Minnesota (Limited to county-wide offices)
- Missouri (Class 3 cities and Charter cities with recall provisions)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico (Limited to counties, school boards, and some municipalities)
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Ohio (Limited to Municipal corporations)
- Oklahoma (Limited)
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota (Limited to mayor, commissioner or any alderman in some municipalities)
- Texas (Limited to charter political subdivisions with recall provisions)
- Tennessee (Limited)
- West Virginia (Limited to charter cities)
- Wyoming (Limited to cities and towns)
Recall of federal officials
The United States Constitution does not provide for recall of any federally elected official. The option was considered during the drafting of the document in 1787, but was not included in the final version. Some state constitutions have stated the right of citizens to recall their members of the United States Congress, but whether it is constitutionally legal at the federal level has not been yet been ruled upon by the United States Supreme Court. One of the closest noted legal precedent is U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, in which the Supreme Court decided that states did not have the right to impose new terms, qualifications, or conditions of service on federal officials.
Some states have released opinions and rulings on recall of members of the U.S. Congress. Attorneys general in Arkansas (2010), Louisiana (2009), Kansas (1994), Nevada (1978), and Oregon (1935) all issued opinions against the recall of federal officials. Conversely, the Attorney General of Wisconsin in 1979 give an opinion that state administration could not reject a petition for recall of a member of the U.S. Congress. In 2010, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled against federal recall and the Supreme Court of North Dakota also upheld an opinion by the state’s attorney general against federal recall. Michigan courts stopped a recall petition against a member of Congress in 2007. A federal court in 1967 dismissed a case from Idaho where petitioners hoped to require the state to accept petitions seeking recall of a U.S. Senator.
Whether grounds are required
In some states that allow recall, a recall can only occur under certain circumstances. An example of this is Georgia, where an elected official may only be recalled under the circumstances of “an act of malfeasance or misconduct while in office, violation of the oath of office, failure to perform duties prescribed by law, or willfully misusing, converting, or misappropriating, without authority, public property or public funds entrusted to or associated with the elective office to which the official has been elected or appointed.”
In other states, recalls may proceed without having to fit within a prescribed set of grounds. Balltopia lists gives details into the specific grounds required.
States that allow recall elections only if they fit within certain prescribed grounds include:
|State||Allowable grounds for a recall|
|Alaska||Lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption (AS §15.45.510)|
|Florida (Local Recall Only)||Malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude. (Fla. Stat. Ann §100.361)|
|Georgia||Act of malfeasance or misconduct while in office; violation of oath of office; failure to perform duties prescribed by law; willfully misused, converted, or misappropriated, without authority, public property or public funds entrusted to or associated with the elective office to which the official has been elected or appointed. Discretionary performance of a lawful act or a prescribed duty shall not constitute a ground for recall of an elected public official. (Ga. Code §21-4-3(7) and 21-4-4(c))|
|Kansas||Conviction for a felony, misconduct in office, incompetence, or failure to perform duties prescribed by law. No recall submitted to the voters shall be held void because of the insufficiency of the grounds, application, or petition by which the submission was procured. (KS Stat. §25-4302)|
|Minnesota||Serious malfeasance or nonfeasance during the term of office in the performance of the duties of the office or conviction during the term of office of a serious crime (Article VIII, §6, Minnesota Constitution)|
(Local Recall Only)
|Misconduct in office, incompetence, and failure to perform duties prescribed by law. (Missouri Revised Statutes Section 77.650)|
|Montana||Physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, conviction of certain felony offenses (enumerated in Title 45). No person may be recalled for performing a mandatory duty of the office he holds or for not performing any act that, if performed, would subject him to prosecution for official misconduct. (Mont. Code §2-16-603)|
(Local Recall Only)
|Malfeasance or misfeasance in office or violation of the oath of office during the official’s current term. (Article X, §6 (county officers) and Article XII, §14 (school board members) of the New Mexico Constitution. Note: Recall of elective officers in commission-manager municipalities does not require grounds.)|
|Rhode Island||Authorized in the case of a general officer who has been indicted or informed against for a felony, convicted of a misdemeanor, or against whom a finding of probable cause of violation of the code of ethics has been made by the ethics commission (Article IV, §1, Rhode Island Constitution)|
(Local Recall Only)
|Misconduct, malfeasance, nonfeasance, crimes in office, drunkenness, gross incompetency, corruption, theft, oppression, or gross partiality. (SDCL §9-13-30)|
|Virginia||Neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office, or upon conviction of a drug-related misdemeanor or a misdemeanor involving a “hate crime” (§24.2-233)|
|Washington||Commission of some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violation of oath of office (Article I, §33, Washington State Constitution)|
For in-depth information on recalls, please read Ballotpedia, National Conference of State Legislatures, and The Recall Elections Blog
RAIR Foundation USA is here to help and support your efforts. Please contact info@rairfoundation if you are taking recall action in your state.