Only two governors have ever been successfully recalled. In 1921, Lynn J. Frazier, Governor of North Dakota, was recalled during a dispute about state-owned industries, and in 2003, Governor Gray Davis of California was recalled over mismanagement of the state budget.
In Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Rhode Island, and Washington, specific grounds are required for a recall. Some form of malfeasance or misconduct while in office must be identified by the petitioners. The target may choose to dispute the validity of the grounds in court, and a court then judges whether the allegations in the petition rise to a level where a recall is necessary. In the other eleven states that permit state-wide recall, no grounds are required and recall petitions may be circulated for any reason. However, the target is permitted to submit responses to the stated reasons for recall.
The minimum number of signatures and the time limit to qualify a recall vary between states. In addition, the handling of recalls once they qualify differs. In some states, a recall triggers a simultaneous special election, where the vote on the recall, as well as the vote on the replacement if the recall succeeds, are on the same ballot. In the 2003 California recall election, over 100 candidates appeared on the replacement portion of the ballot. In other states, a separate special election is held after the target is recalled, or a replacement is appointed by the Governor or some other state authority.
The Province of British Columbia enacted representative recall in 1995. In that province, voters in a provincial riding can petition to have a sitting representative removed from office, even a Premier presently leading a government. If enough registered voters sign the petition, the Speaker of the legislature announces before the House that the member has been recalled and a by-election follows as soon as possible, giving voters the opportunity to replace the politician in question. By January 2003, 22 recall efforts had been launched. No one has been recalled so far, but one representative, Paul Reitsma, resigned in 1998 when it looked as if the petition to recall him would have enough signatures to spur a recall election. Reitsma resigned during the secondary verification stage, and the recall count ended.
Deangelo to Push for Recall Election Reform Bills Would Decrease Threshold and Timeframe for Public Efforts to Recall Officials; Recall Election Could Be Triggered by 25% of Amount of Last Election Voters
May 09, 2012; TRENTON, NJ -- The following information was released by the New Jersey General Assembly, Majority Office: Assemblyman Wayne P....