Alaska

Eligible for Recall: Only officials elected or appointed to municipal offices

Signature Requirement: 25% of the votes cast in the last election of the official being recalled

Circulation Time: 60 days

Type of Recall Election: Recall election, then successor is appointed

Constitutional Provision: Article 3

Sec. 29.26.240. Recall. An official who is elected or appointed to an elective municipal office may be recalled by the voters after the official has served the first 120 days of the term for which elected or appointed.

Sec. 29.26.250. Grounds for recall. Grounds for recall are misconduct in office, incompetence, or failure to perform prescribed duties.

Sec. 29.26.260. Application for recall petition. An application for a recall petition shall be filed with the municipal clerk and must contain

  • the signatures and residence addresses of at least 10 municipal voters who will sponsor the petition;
  • the name and address of the contact person and an alternate to whom all correspondence relating to the petition may be sent; and
  • a statement in 200 words or less of the grounds for recall stated with particularity.

An additional sponsor may be added at any time before the petition is filed by submitting the name of the sponsor to the clerk.

Initial Procedure: Submit petition to clerk of the municipality

Contact Info:
Division of Elections
Court Plaza Building
240 Main Street, 4th Floor
Juneau, AK 99801

Court Activity

No current cases.

News & Commentary

3 Alaska City Council Members Survive Recall Election | 06/20/17

HOMER -- KBBI (June 19, 2017)  Three Homer City Council members who were the subject of a highly contentious recall effort will retain their seats. The political battle led to a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska and two political groups have formed around the issue.

Council members David Lewis, Catriona Reynolds and Donna Aderhold all enjoyed double digit wins as the official results came in Friday.

As the canvas board counted hundreds of absentee ballots Friday afternoon, several Heartbeat of Homer supporters in the audience eagerly awaited the results. The pro-recall political action committee's spokeswoman, Sarah Vance, sat quietly as the stacks of ballots were counted.

The three council members narrowly eked out a win Tuesday (June 13) in the regular vote and needed a strong showing from absentee voters. City Clerk Mellissa Jacobsen read the results for the record and those in attendance.

Aderhold and Lewis were both favored by 57 percent of voters and Reynolds came away with 56 percent of the vote. Vance and her supporters were noticeably disappointed as they walked out of City Hall.

"Of course we are disappointed in the outcome," Vance said. "We feel that they definitely were dishonest in their dealings over the issues, but the people have spoken and we'll proceed from here."

The three council members found themselves subjects of the recall effort this spring. Petitioners took issue with two resolutions they crafted and sponsored, namely an inclusivity resolution.

Petitioners argue it was the council members' intent to make Homer a sanctuary city, damaging the tourism industry. They also claim their actions were misconduct in office.

The council members all had one word for the results, vindicated.

Read more.

Alaskan Town Recall Leaders Hold Rally in Face of ACLU Lawsuit | 05/16/17

HOMER, Alaska (May 15, 2017) The group leading a recall effort to oust three Homer City Council members held a rally Saturday in downtown homer. Heartbeat of Homer, the newly formed political action party, has also been granted standing in a lawsuit against the city.

About 40 Heartbeat of Homer members and supporters gathered at Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith & Love Park to rally their support for the recall of Homer City Council members David Lewis, Donna Aderhold and Catriona Reynolds. Reynolds and Lewis are both up for election in October.

Heartbeat of Homer was granted standing in a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska brought against the city for certifying the three recall petitions. The ACLU says the certification violated council members' right to freedom of speech. In joining the case, Heartbeat of Homer chose to side with the city.

Spokesperson Sarah Vance spoke to supporters from the park's gazebo decked out in red, white and blue. Vance says the group expects accountability from city council members.

"And that's what Heartbeat is doing, giving conservatives in this town a voice. That's what we're about, to come and to make our voice heard because we're not going to be silent anymore," Vance announced through the PA system.

This all started back in early March after the three council members sponsored a resolution supporting the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline and an inclusivity resolution.

Vance argues the council members were not transparent while crafting the latter resolution via email. She says it declared Homer as a sanctuary city and was "watered down" after it was met with opposition.

Read more.

ACLU, Council Members Sue Alaska City over Recall Election | 04/25/17

HOMER MustReadAlaska) According to three city council members in Homer, Alaska, it's not up to voters to decide if they are "unfit for office." It's up to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The three, who are facing a recall vote, have enlisted the ACLU of Alaska to help them sue the City of Homer over what they claim is an unconstitutional recall election scheduled for June 13.

Donna Aderhold, David Lewis, and Catriona Reynolds are facing the discontent of hundreds of local residents who signed recall petitions in March. The petitions said they were unfit to represent the city.

The council members had worked as a group to craft a resolution that would have made Homer a "sanctuary city," where illegal immigrants would find safe haven from law enforcement. The effort was cloaked in secrecy and residents were surprised when they learned of it. Under local fire, the resolution was eventually watered down and it failed passage.

The "Sanctuary Three" didn't stop there. They also worked to establish an official position for the City of Homer opposing the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota and support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its resistance against the project. Some Homer citizens felt the council members had "gone rogue" in trying to make the entire city weigh in on a project thousands of miles and several states away, for no good reason other than obsequious political correctness.

The ACLU, in a press release, said that the three have done "nothing more than exercising their free speech rights."

But the citizens are also expressing their right -- their right to vote people out of office. They gathered 437 signatures -- far more than needed -- on petitions to recall the three council members. The city clerk, after consulting with the city's attorney, said the petition was strong enough to allow it to go for a vote. The law provides liberal language that supports the public's right to remove lawmakers.

But the ACLU disagrees.

"Legislators have a well-established right, under the First Amendment, to discuss their views on local or national policy and it is good that they do. Such a right promotes public discussion and advocacy of issues of concern to our neighbors at all levels of government," the ACLU wrote in a press release.

Read more.

Alaska Borough Gets Interim Mayor after Successful Recall | 04/13/16

ANCHORAGE - The North Slope Borough announced the interim mayor Tuesday following the recall of former Mayor Charlotte Brower. A date for a special election for a new mayor was also set for June 7.

The NSB Assembly certified the April 5 recall election Tuesday, and then selected Assembly President Mike Aamodt for the position until the new mayor is elected.

Read more.

Recall Election Slated for Alaska Town Mayor | 02/01/16

ANCHORAGE -- North Slope officials have called for a special election to recall Mayor Charlotte Brower after residents successfully gathered enough signatures on a petition.

The announcement was made Tuesday at a North Slope Borough Assembly meeting, KTVA-TV reports.

The effort to recall Brower began after allegations that she misused borough funds. She has been accused of using public money to send her grandchildren to a basketball camp in California and to purchase cakes for her daughter.

Petitioners starting gathering signatures in November and have collected more than the 492 signatures needed for the recall. Under borough laws, a petition to recall an official must gather at least 25 percent of the total number of votes cast in the last election before it can be certified by the clerk.

According to the borough clerk's office, the special election will be held April 5.

Read more.

Each state has its own requirements as to the manner in which petitions must be collected, signed and filed. It is imperative that official recall committees are legally formed in each state according to the state laws and regulations. The handling of the petitions must comply with the laws and regulations of each state.