Maine

Officers Subject to Recall:

  • Any municipal or town elected officials as adopted by the municipality.

Key Steps in the Recall Process:

  • Recall may not commence until 120 days in office.
  • Must state reason for removal from office.
  • No specific time frame required.
  • Signature requirement is at least 10% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.

Read the code at Title 30-A, M.R.S.A., §2528, §2602, §3001 and §3002)

Court Activity

No current cases.

News & Commentary

Maine Legislators Consider Bill to Establish Recall Elections | 04/13/17

Spurred in part by public frustration at having no way to oust Gov. Paul LePage after a series of embarrassing comments, lawmakers are taking a look at a measure that would allow the recall of elected officials in Maine.

Its sponsor, Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, said this week he wants "to give power back into the hands of the people."

His proposal would allow people to gather signatures to force a special recall election when an official is accused of neglect of duty, misuse of office or incompetence. It would also apply if an elected leader turns to crime, obstructs voter-approved initiatives or violates ethics laws.

It would apply to town board members, mayors, legislators and the governor.

"On the surface, it would be easy to view this bill as a direct response to the governor, but there is a reason why I include each level of government in this bill," Chenette said. "This is about holding all of us accountable, not just about one position or about one man."

"In fact, by the time this would be in effect and in place, it wouldn't really impact the current occupant of the Blaine House," he told the Legislature's Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee.

The Maine Municipal Association took a firm stand against the bill this week. It said town charters already govern recalls and that recalls require a lot of administrative work.

Besides, it said, "recalls are initiated as much to cause political and partisan mischief as they are to root out an incompetent or otherwise inappropriate elected official."

Chenette pointed out that 19 states already allow recalls of state officials and 29 for municipal leaders. The only one in New England is Rhode Island.

Read more.

Maine Town Sets Recall Election for Two Selectmen | 10/18/16

PERU -- Selectmen on Monday evening set a recall election for two of its members amid questions about the legality of both recall petitions.

Voters will decide Nov. 18 whether to remove Chairwoman Wendy Henderson and Vice Chairman John Witherell from office.

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at a location to be determined. Henderson and Witherell will have a chance to address voters.

The two petitions presented to the board Oct. 6 claimed Henderson and Witherell have failed to represent the will of the town and to vote accordingly. The petitions were certified by the town clerk Oct. 10.

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.