I. RECALL OF STATE OFFICERS

Posted: July 25, 2010 in Blogroll

A. IN GENERAL
Recall is the power of the voters to remove an elective officer.
(Cal.Const., Art. II, Secs. 13-19; §§11000 et seq.)
The term “state officer” includes the elected offices of Governor,
Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Controller, Attorney
General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Insurance Commissioner,
Members of the State Board of Equalization, State Legislators, and
Justices of Courts of Appeal and the State Supreme Court.
All of the required “proponents1” of a recall must be registered voters in the
electoral jurisdiction of the officer they seek to recall. (§11005)
“Electoral Jurisdiction” is the area where the voters reside who are
qualified to vote for the office of the officer sought to be recalled. (§322)
The term “County Clerk” means Registrar of Voters in those counties in
which the latter office has been established. (§311)
B. PRELIMINARY STEPS
1. Serve, File, Publish Notice of Intention
To begin recall proceedings against a state officer, including an
officer appointed in lieu of election or to fill a vacancy, recall
proponents must serve, file, and publish or post a notice of intention
to circulate a recall petition. (§11006)
2. Serve the Notice of Intention
A copy of the Notice of Intention must be served by personal
delivery or by certified mail on the officer sought to be recalled. In
addition, the original of the Notice of Intention, along with an
affidavit of the time and manner of service, must be filed within
seven days with the Secretary of State. A separate Notice of
Intention must be filed for each officer sought to be recalled.
1Proponents are those voters who initiate the recall proceedings and have control of the
circulation of and obtaining signatures to the recall petition.
6
[See Exhibits A and B] (§11021)
3. Publish
The Notice of Intention must be published at the proponents’
expense at least once in a newspaper of general circulation. The
publication need not include the information listed in Section 5(d)
below. If such publication is not possible, the notice shall be posted
in at least three public places within the jurisdiction of the officer
sought to be recalled. Posting is allowed only if there is no
newspaper of general circulation able to provide timely publication
in the jurisdiction of the officer whose recall is being sought.
(Government Code §6000, et seq.; §11022)
4. File Proof of Publication
The proponents must file proof of publication2 or an affidavit of
posting the Notice of Intention at the same time that they file two
blank copies of the proposed petition with the Secretary of State.
(§11042)
5. The Content of the Notice of Intention
The Notice of Intention must contain:
(a) the name and title of the officer sought to be recalled;
(b) a statement, not over two hundred words in length, of the
reasons for recall;
(c) the printed name, signature, and residence address of each
of the proponents of the recall. If a proponent cannot
receive mail at his or her residence address, the Notice of
Intention must also contain his or her mailing address. The
number of signers shall be 10 or equal to the number of
signatures required to be filed on the nomination paper of
the officer sought to be recalled, whichever is greater. Each
proponent must be a voter in the electoral jurisdiction;
(d) the provisions of Elections Code §11023, which permit
incumbents who are the subject of recall to file an answer to
the notice and prescribes the method for doing so.
[See Exhibit C] (§§11020, 11041(a)(2))
6. Answer of Recallee
2 Proof of publication is obtained from the newspaper publisher after the Notice of Intention
appears in print.
7
Within seven days after the filing of the Notice of Intention, the
officer sought to be removed may file with the Secretary of State an
answer of not more than two hundred words. (§11023(a))
The answer shall be signed and shall be accompanied by the
printed name, and business or residence address of the officer
sought to be recalled. (§11023(c))
7. Serve the Answer
If an answer is filed, the officer must within seven days after the
filing of the Notice of Intention, serve a copy of the answer, by
personal delivery or by certified mail, on one of the proponents
named in the notice. (§11023(b))
C. FORMAT OF PETITION
The recall petition format prepared by the Secretary of State is mandatory and
must be used. A copy of the required format is available from the county
elections official or from the office of the Secretary of State. (§§11041, 11043.5)
All petition sections must be printed in uniform size and darkness with uniform
spacing. [See Exhibit D] (§11041)
1. Heading
A margin at least one inch wide shall be left blank across the top of
each page and a margin at least one-half inch wide shall be left
blank along the bottom of each page.
[See Exhibit D] (§§100, 100.5, 11043)
Each side of a sheet of paper on which signatures appear must
include in no less than 8-point type:
(a) a request that an election be called to elect a successor to
the office3;
(b) a copy of the Notice of Intention, including the statement of
reasons for recall (NOTE: At least ten proponents must be
3 If a Justice of a California appellate court, the request shall be that the Governor appoint a successor to
the office. §11041(a)(1)
8
included4. However, the provisions of Section 11023 relating
to an answer from the officer sought to be recalled do not
need to be included as part of the language of the Notice of
Intention on the petition); and
(c) the answer, if any, of the officer sought to be recalled. If the
officer has not answered, the petition must so state.
2. Signature Space
Each signer must personally place his or her own information on
the petition and must personally sign it (unless prevented by
disability, etc.). The petition must be designed so that each signer
can personally affix his or her:
(a) printed name;
(b) signature;
(c) residence address, giving street and number, or if no street or
number exists, adequate designation of residence so that the
location may be readily determined;
(d) name of incorporated city or unincorporated community.
Pursuant to the California Supreme Court’s decision in Assembly v.
Deukmejian (1982) 30 Cal.3d 638, 180 Cal.Rptr. 297, the petition
form must direct signers to include their “residence address” rather
than “address as registered” or other address. Noncomplying
petition forms will be rejected as invalid.
Signature spaces must be consecutively numbered commencing
with the number one for each petition section.
A space at least one inch wide must be left blank along the right
margin of the page, after each name and address, for the use of
the elections official in verifying the petition. (§11043)
3. Declaration of Circulator
Each section of the petition must have attached to it a declaration
signed by the circulator (person soliciting signatures) of that section
of the petition, setting forth in the circulator’s own hand all of the
following:
(a) the printed name of the circulator;
4 Legislative intent was to delete any address information from the petition. Proponents are those voters
who initiate the recall proceedings and have control of the circulation of and obtaining signatures to the
recall petition.
9
(b) the residence address of the circulator, giving street and
number, or if no street or number exists, adequate
designation of residence so that the location may be readily
determined;
(c) the dates between which all signatures to the petition section
were obtained.
The declaration must also include:
(d) that the circulator circulated that section and witnessed the
appended signatures being written;
(e) that according to the best information and belief of the
circulator, each signature is the genuine signature of the
person whose name it purports to be;
(f) that the circulator is a registered voter of the electoral
jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled;
(g) that the circulator certifies to the content of the declaration
as to its truth and correctness, under penalty of perjury. The
circulator shall state the date and the place of execution on
the declaration along with his or her signature.
The circulator must personally affix his or her printed name and
residence address and the specific dates of circulation of each
petition section in the circulator’s affidavit. Preprinted dates, or
generalized dates other than the particular range of dates on which
the petition section was circulated, are not authorized.
[See Exhibit D] (§§104, 11046)
4. Number of Sections
Petitions to recall state officers may consist of any number of
separate sections which must be duplicates except as to signatures
and matters required to be affixed by signers and circulators. The
number of signatures attached to each section is left up to the
discretion of the person soliciting the signatures. Each section may
consist of any number of separate pages. One page is one side of
a sheet of paper on which any signatures appears. (§11040)
5. Approval of Petition Form by Secretary of State
Proponents must file two blank copies of the proposed petition with
the Secretary of State within ten days after the filing of the answer
to the Notice of Intention, or, if no answer is filed, within ten days
after the expiration of the seven-day period for filing the answer.
The Secretary of State must within ten days of receiving the copies
10
of the petition determine whether the proposed form and wording of
the petition meet the necessary requirements and notify proponents
in writing of the findings. If it is found that the petition does not
meet the requirements, the notification must include a statement of
what alterations in the petition are necessary. Then, the
proponents must file two blank copies of the corrected petition with
the Secretary of State within ten days after receiving the
notification.
The submitted blank copies of the petition will be carefully reviewed
for uniformity correctness and will be compared to the Notice of
Intention and publication to assure accuracy in text, punctuation,
capitalization, spelling, format, etc. If the comparison discloses
discrepancies, the petition may be rejected.
The ten-day correction notification period and ten-day filing period
for corrected petitions is repeated until the Secretary of State finds
that no alterations are required.
No signatures may be obtained on the recall petition until the form
of the petition has been approved by the Secretary of State.
(§11042)
D. CIRCULATION OF PETITION
1. Who Can Circulate
The recall petition can be circulated only by registered voters in the
jurisdiction who are qualified to vote for the officer sought to be
recalled. (§§322, 11045)
2. Who Can Sign Petition
Registered voters who are qualified to vote for the office of the
officer sought to be recalled can sign. (§§322, 11045)
If a recall petition is circulated in more than one county, a separate
section should be used for each county. Each section of the
petition must include the name of the county for which it is
circulated, and only registered voters of that county may sign that
section. (§11047)
11
3. Withdrawal of Signatures
Any voter may withdraw his or her signature from the recall petition
upon filing a written request with the county elections official prior to
the day the petition section on which the signature appears is filed.
(§§103, 11303)
E. NUMBER OF SIGNATURES REQUIRED
1. Statewide Officer
For a recall of a statewide officer, a petition must be signed by
registered voters equal in number to twelve percent 12% of the last
vote for the office. Signatures must be obtained from at least five
different counties and must be equal in number to at least one
percent of the last vote for office in each of five counties.
(Cal.Const., Art. II, Sec. 14(b); §11221)
2. State Senators, Members of the Assembly, Members of the
Board of Equalization, and Judges of the Courts of Appeal.
The number of signatures needed on the petition to recall State
Senators, Members of the Assembly, Members of the Board of
Equalization and Judges of Courts of Appeal, must equal at least
twenty percent (20%) of the last vote for the office.
(Cal.Const., Art. II, Sec. 14(b); §11221)
F. FILING OF PETITION – DEADLINE
Within 160 days from the time the Secretary of State notifies the
proponents that the form and wording of the petition is correct, proponents
must file a petition with the requisite number of valid signatures.
(Cal.Const., Art. II, Sec. 14(a))
Each section of a recall petition must be filed with the elections official of
the county for which it was circulated. Each petition section shall be filed
by the proponents or by any person or persons authorized in writing by a
proponent. A copy of any written authorization must accompany each
submission to the elections official. (§§11102, 11103)
12
G. DUTIES OF COUNTY ELECTION OFFICER
Thirty days after a recall has been initiated, and every thirty days
thereafter, the elections official must determine from the affidavits of
registration the number of qualified voters who have signed the recall
petition. Upon the completion of the examination, the county elections
official must certify and submit the results and submit an unsigned copy of
the petition to the Secretary of State. (§11104)
H. DUTIES OF SECRETARY OF STATE
The Secretary of State must maintain a continuous count of the signatures
certified to that office (Cal.Const., Art. II, Sec. 14(c)). When the Secretary
of State receives from one or more county elections officials a petition
certified to have been signed by the stated number of registered voters, he
or she must, within ten days, transmit to every county elections official in
the state a certificate showing the total number of signatures collected by
the proponents. (§11108)
After determining that the proponents have obtained sufficient signatures
for recall, the Secretary of State must certify that fact to the Governor.
(§11109)
I. ONLY PROPONENTS MAY EXAMINE PETITION
If a petition is found to be insufficient by the Secretary of State, the
proponents whose names are listed on the Notice of Intention must be
allowed to examine the petition signatures in order to ascertain which
signatures were disqualified and the reasons therefor.
(Government Code §6253.5, §11301)
NOTE: This right of examination is not otherwise available to proponents
or to the public in general. If the proponents examine the petition
signatures, the examination shall begin not later than 21 days after
certification of insufficiency. (Government Code §6253.5)

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