instructions and the law of recall

Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms
expire. It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has
been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives.
This publication examines the law of recall only as it applies to state and local
officials. It is divided into separate parts to help avoid confusion. Be sure to check the
Table of Contents and review all parts which are specific to the type of recall in which
you are interested.
Please note that the procedures described herein do not apply to federal officers.
The removal of U.S. Representatives or U.S. Senators is governed by the United States
Constitution, Article 1, Sec. 5 (2), which states “Each House may determine the rules of
its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence
of two-thirds, expel a member.” The President, Vice President and all civil officers of
the United States are removed through the process of “impeachment” which is
governed by the United States Constitution.
Unless otherwise indicated, all references in parentheses are to the California
Elections Code.


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