Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed

SS/SCS/SB 593 - This act allows certain political subdivisions to waive conducting non-partisan elections and provides a recall procedure for members of an emergency services board.

Under current law, with the exception of municipal elections, nonpartisan elections in political subdivisions and special districts need not be held when the number of candidates who have filed is equal to the number of positions to be filled.

This act narrows the exception to municipal elections in cities towns and villages with more than 1,000 inhabitants. The governing body in jurisdictions with 1,000 or fewer inhabitants may pass an ordinance to forego such elections when the number of candidates who have filed is equal to the number of positions to be filled. The passage of such an ordinance authorizes the jurisdiction to refrain from holding such elections for 6 years from its passage, at which time the jurisdiction is required to pass another such ordinance.

The act requires public notice to be published by the first of the month in which the election would have occurred containing the names of candidates that will be placed in office when the election is not held.

Each member of an emergency services board of directors shall be subject to recall from office by the registered voters of the election district from which he or she was elected. Proceedings for the recall are commenced by the filing of a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition.

The notice must be served personally, or by certified mail, on the board member and filed with the election authority. A separate notice is needed for each member sought to be recalled and must contain information explaining the reason for the recall. It must list at least one but not more than five proponents of the recall.

Within seven days, the board member may file a statement answering the statement of the proponents. The answer must be served on at least one proponent. The statement and answer are for the voters' informational purposes only.

A member cannot be recalled if he or she: 1) has not held office during the current term for more than 180 days; 2) has 180 days or less remaining on his or her current term; or 3) has had a recall election determined in his or her favor within the current term.

The person circulating the petition must sign an affidavit verifying certain information. A recall petition must be filed with the election authority not more than 180 days after the filing of the notice of intention. The number of signatures needed shall equal at least 25% of the number of voters who voted in the most recent gubernatorial election in the election district.

The election authority has twenty days from the date of filing the petition to determine if enough voters signed the petition. It must file a certificate showing whether there are enough signatures. If the election authority certifies the petition does not have enough signatures, it may be supplemented within ten days of the date of certificate. The election authority must then certify the supplemented petition. If it is insufficient, no further action shall be taken.

If the petition is sufficient, the election authority shall submit its certificate to the board of directors and order an election within a certain amount of time. Nominations for board membership openings shall be made by filing a statement of candidacy with the election authority.

Any time prior to forty-two days before the election, the member sought to be recalled may offer his or her resignation and the recall question shall be removed from the ballot and the office declared vacant.

This act is similar to HB 1490 (2010), SB 418 (2011), SB 542 (2012), and SCS/SB 375 (2013).


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