SB 891 To Recall Local Officials

Local accountability is essential to a functional society. The people of Missouri ought to have recourse for elected officials who fail to appropriately perform their duties. Many officials are subject to recall, but not all. Some are allowed to continue with impunity until their term is up. As we have seen in recent years, this has had a disastrous effect on some communities. Now a bill has been filed to hold our officials accountable. This bill has been referred to the Local Government and Elections Committee. Please contact Senator Sandy Crawford and ask her to schedule a hearing for SB 891. Then contact your legislator and tell them to get behind SB 891.

Full text of the bill below:

SB 891 – RECALL OFFICIAL OF A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION (Sections 67.2200 to 67.2206)

This act establishes procedures for removing officials of political subdivisions by recall petition. These procedures are subject to the following limitations:

• The official who is named in the petition shall have held office for at least six months; and

• The recalled official shall not be a candidate in a special election to fill the vacancy created by his or her recall.

Under this act, in order to recall an official of a political subdivision, a petition containing a written statement providing the grounds for recall must first be filed with the county election authority within 60 days of receiving its first signature. The petition must receive signatures from eligible voters equal to at least 10% of the total number of votes cast in the last election held for the official’s seat who is sought to be removed.

Within 10 days of the date the petition is filed, the election authority will determine whether the petition is signed by the requisite number of voters. If the petition is deemed insufficient, the election authority will attach a certificate to the petition stating the petition is insufficient. The petition may be returned to the person who filed the petition and may be amended within 10 days of the issuance of the certificate.

Once the election authority deems the petition sufficient, the election authority shall submit the petition to the political subdivision without delay, and the political subdivision shall order the question to be submitted to the voters of the political subdivision.

A special election will be held on the recall petition as soon as practicable. If a majority of the votes cast in the election are against recalling the official, then the official shall serve out the remainder of the term he or she was elected to serve. However, if a majority of the votes cast in the election are in favor of recalling the official, then a vacancy shall exist in such office.

These provisions are similar to SB 907 (2020) and SB 324 (2019).

SCHOOL BOARD RECALL ELECTIONS (Section 162.089)

This act establishes a recall procedure for local school board members.

A recall election shall be held upon the submission of a petition signed by at least 25% of the number of registered votes who voted in the most recent school board election. Recall proceedings shall not be commenced against any member during the first 30 or last 180 days of the member’s term or against any member who has had a recall election decided in their favor during the term.

Recall proceedings shall commence by filing a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition, as described in the act, with the school district’s election authority. The notice of intention shall include the grounds for recall, which may include but are not limited to conduct that adversely affects the rights and interests of the public, commission of an act of malfeasance, and moral turpitude.

The election authority shall certify the notice of intention so long as it meets the act’s requirements and shall notify the school district administration, school board, and the board member. The board member may file a statement in answer, as described in the act.

After notifying the petition filer that the petition has been certified as sufficient, the election authority shall order the question to be submitted to the voters on an election day as described in the act. If no election day will be held prior to the expiration of the board member’s term, the board member shall serve the rest of his or her term.

If a majority of voters are in favor of recall, the resulting vacancy shall be filled as provided in existing law for premature vacancies in the district, unless the recall question was submitted in an April election for new school board members, in which case the vacancy shall be filled by the first runner-up in the election for new members.

A recalled school board member shall not fill the vacancy created by the recall, but he or she may seek future reelection.