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(1) A recall of an incumbent of an elective office shall be initiated upon petition signed by registered electors. In the case of an elective office to which a candidate is elected from the City at large, the petition shall contain signatures equal in number to at least twenty-five percent of the vote cast for the office of Mayor at the last preceding mayoralty election but signatures from any one ward in excess of one-fifth of the total number required on a petition shall not be counted. In the case of an elective office to which a candidate is elected from a district of the City, the petition shall contain signatures of registered electors in the district equal in number to at least twenty- five percent of the vote cast for the office at the last election. Every recall petition shall name the officer against whom it is directed.
(2) Each elector signing a recall petition shall add to his signature his occupation, his residence, stating the ward, and the date of signing. Signatures on a recall petition may be on separate sheets but each sheet shall have appended to it the affidavit of some person, not necessarily a signer of the petition, that to the best of the affiant's knowledge and belief the persons whose signatures appear on the sheet are registered electors of the City, or of the district, as the case may be, that they signed with full knowledge of the contents of the petition, and that their residences are correctly given.
(3) A recall petition shall be tendered for filing to the board of elections having jurisdiction over elections in the City. Such board shall examine it to see whether it contains a sufficient number of apparently genuine signatures. The board may question the genuineness of any signature or signatures appearing on the recall petition and if it shall find that any such signature or signatures are not genuine, it shall disregard them in determining whether the petition contains a sufficient number of signatures. It shall also disregard any signature dated more than sixty days before the date the petition was tendered for filing. The board shall eliminate any sheet of the petition which is not accompanied by the required affidavit. The invalidity of any sheet of the petition shall not affect the validity of the petition if a sufficient number of signatures remains after eliminating such an invalid sheet. The board shall complete its examination of the petition within fifteen days and shall thereupon file the petition if valid or reject it if invalid.
Sources: See Charter of the City of Los Angeles (Annot. Ed., 1948) Section 290(a) and (b); Charter of the City of St. Louis Proposed by the 1949-50 Board of Freeholders Article 111, Section 2-6; Act of April 21, 1949, P.L. 665, Section 6.
Purposes: 1. A recall is initiated by petition containing the number of signatures of registered electors specified in this section.
2. In the case of an office to which a candidate is elected by voters from the entire City, all registered voters of the City may sign recall petitions. To prevent frivolous resort to the recall and to limit the recall to cases where its basis will be of such merit as to call forth the support of substantial numbers of the citizenry, signatures equal in number to twenty-five percent of the vote cast for the office of Mayor at the last preceding mayoralty election are required in the case of an elective office at large. Signatures from any one ward in excess of one- fifth of the number required on a petition are not to be counted in arriving at the total required so that the recall petition will not be the product of sectional interests or efforts. Thus, if in the 1951 mayoralty election 400,000 votes are cast, 100,000 signatures will be required on a recall petition directed against a Mayor or a Councilman-at-large in 1953. Should there be 25,000 signatures of voters in the 22nd ward on the petition, only 20,000 will be counted in arriving at the required 100,000 signatures.
3. In the case of a district councilmanic office, only the voters of the district in questions are qualified to initiate a recall and the petition must contain signatures equal in number to at least twenty-five percent of the vote cast for that office at the last election.
4. Standards to safeguard the authenticity of recall petitions are set forth in this section. Petitions are to be tendered for filing with the board of elections having jurisdiction over elections in the City and such board is empowered to pass upon the validity of the petition. Signatures dated more than sixty days before a petition is tendered for filing are to be disregarded in order to prevent any practice of accumulating signatures over an indefinite period of time until the required number is met. The recall presupposes a crystallization of popular opinion because of the behavior in office of an elected official. Most persons signing a petition would intend their signatures to be effective within a reasonable time and not at some indeterminate future date when they may no longer have any grievances.