Washington

Eligible for Recall: Patty Murray (D): elected to fifth term in 2016, up for reelection in 2022; Maria Cantwell (D): elected to third term in 2012, up for reelection in 2018.

Signature Requirement: 25% of voters in last election for the Senator

Circulation Time: 180 days

Type of Recall Election: Recall Election then political appointment

Constitutional Provision: Article 1 Section 33 (created 1912)

SECTION 33 RECALL OF ELECTIVE OFFICERS. Every elective public officer of the state of Washington expect [except] judges of courts of record is subject to recall and discharge by the legal voters of the state, or of the political subdivision of the state, from which he was elected whenever a petition demanding his recall, reciting that such officer has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office, stating the matters complained of, signed by the percentages of the qualified electors thereof, hereinafter provided, the percentage required to be computed from the total number of votes cast for all candidates for his said office to which he was elected at the preceding election, is filed with the officer with whom a petition for nomination, or certificate for nomination, to such office must be filed under the laws of this state, and the same officer shall call a special election as provided by the general election laws of this state, and the result determined as therein provided. [AMENDMENT 8, 1911 p 504 Section 1. Approved November, 1912.]

Initial Procedure: The voter shall prepare a typewritten charge, reciting that such officer, naming him or her and giving the title of the office, has committed an act or acts of malfeasance, or an act or acts of misfeasance while in office, or has violated the oath of office, or has been guilty of any two or more of the acts specified in the Constitution as grounds for recall. The charge shall state the act or acts complained of in concise language, give a detailed description including the approximate date, location, and nature of each act complained of, be signed by the person or persons making the charge, give their respective post office addresses, and be verified under oath that the person or persons believe the charge or charges to be true and have knowledge of the alleged facts upon which the stated grounds for recall are based.

For the purposes of this chapter:

  1. "Misfeasance" or "malfeasance" in office means any wrongful conduct that affects, interrupts, or interferes with the performance of official duty;
    1. Additionally, "misfeasance" in office means the performance of a duty in an improper manner; and
    2. Additionally, "malfeasance" in office means the commission of an unlawful act;
  2. "Violation of the oath of office" means the neglect or knowing failure by an elective public officer to perform faithfully a duty imposed by law.

Within fifteen days after receiving the petition, the superior court shall have conducted a hearing on and shall have determined, without cost to any party, (1) whether or not the acts stated in the charge satisfy the criteria for which a recall petition may be filed, and (2) the adequacy of the ballot synopsis. The clerk of the superior court shall notify the person subject to recall and the person demanding recall of the hearing date.

Contact Info:
Elections Division
520 Union Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98504
Phone: (360) 902-4180
Toll-Free: (800) 448-4881
elections@sos.wa.gov

Court Activity

Recall Approved Against County Prosecutor in Washington State

Washington Town Mayor Faces Recall Election in June

News & Commentary

Recall Approved Against County Prosecutor in Washington State | 08/12/15


TACOMA, Washington -- Barring a reversal by the state's highest court, an effort to recall Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist will move forward.

The recall petition was approved August 7 by Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jay Roof, a visiting judge appointed to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

In his ruling, Roof found legal and factual sufficiency for the charge that Lindquist abused his authority by "engaging in a vindictive prosecution of a Pierce County woman; withholding evidence, and obstructing justice."

The Pierce County woman is former Longbranch resident Lynn Dalsing, charged with sex crimes in 2010 and 2014 by county prosecutors, and accused of molesting her 7-year-old daughter.

Those charges have been dismissed twice, most recently in March by Superior Court Judge Edmund Murphy, who threw out charges of child rape against Dalsing due to prosecutorial vindictiveness. Prosecutors have appealed that decision.

Vindictive prosecution was one of 12 charges leveled against Lindquist in the recall petition. Roof's ruling rejected the other 11 charges.

The finding triggers a possible appeal by Lindquist to the state Supreme Court, which would have the final word. Lindquist isn't saying what he'll do.

Asked for comment Friday, Lindquist replied with an emailed statement:

"Our office charged Lynn Dalsing for one reason only -- evidence showed she assisted in the crimes of Child Rape, Molestation and Sexual Exploitation. Judges repeatedly found probable cause for the filing of these charges.

"I'm confident the people of Pierce County will support our efforts to pursue justice for the young victims and for our community."

Jeff Helsdon, attorney for recall proponent Cheryl Iseberg, replied with a statement of his own, noting that charges against Dalsing were dismissed:

"Mr. Lindquist continues to trot out the false statement that he stacked new charges on Lynn Dalsing because there was new evidence. Unfortunately for Mr. Lindquist, two judges saw things very differently.

Read more.

here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article30432828.html#storylink=cpy

Hearing Set on Recall Petition of Washington State Auditor | 04/27/15

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A court hearing for a petition to recall embattled Washington state Auditor Troy Kelley has been set for May 8.

In a Friday filing, Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office requested the hearing happen in Pierce County, where Kelley lives.

Former legislator Will Knedlik filed recall papers asking voters to remove Kelley from office for reasons that include not adhering to a constitutional requirement for the auditor to live in Olympia. Kelley was indicted in federal court April 15 on 10 felony counts, including allegations he failed to pay taxes.

At the May 8 hearing in Pierce County Superior Court, a judge will consider whether the charges are sufficient to give Knedlik permission to gather the 715,800 valid signatures from registered voters required to put the recall on a statewide ballot.

The Secretary of State recommends gathering a million signatures to make sure there are 715,000 valid ones. According to the Secretary of State, there's never been a petition filed with a million signatures in Washington.

There's a nine month window to gather the signatures, then another month for verification, which could take us to March 2016. At that point, an election date would be set, perhaps in early summer, which is very close to the 2016 primary election for Auditor. Even if a million signatures could be gathered in two or three months, it seems unlikely there could be a recall election before November.

Read more.

Washington Town Mayor Faces Recall Election in June | 04/30/14

After a long process, the issues surrounding Bridgeport Mayor Marilynn Lynn will be settled by the voters.

The recall election has been formally established to be held on June 3, with the results being certified by June 17.

Bridgeport citizen Michael Knox began the process to recall Lynn on Jan. 21, submitting a type written charge citing 14 complaints of Lynn committing misfeasance or malfeasance. As described by state law, "misfeasance or malfeasance in office means any wrongful conduct that affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duty.

Knox and Lynn attended a court hearing on Feb. 4 to determine the validity of the claims. The allegation that was ruled legally and factually sufficient was the claim that Lynn illegally hired a city employee without the consent of the Bridgeport City Council, as stated in Bridgeport's City Code.

Read more.

Cost of Recall of Mayor of Washington State Town: $37,000 | 06/24/13

PACIFIC -- The people seeking to oust Mayor Cy Sun have spent close to $37,000 on their recall effort, funds raised mostly in dribs and drabs from friends, family, even garage sales.

Read more.


Reckless Congress Makes Case for Recall | 12/17/10

"If ever a Congress epitomized the need for more accountability, it's the 111th lame-duck gang. Sorry, that's unfair to gangsters. With most Americans distracted by holiday plans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has sprung another Christmas surprise, vowing to ram through a far-left agenda in the waning days of 2010. Last year, he put a giant lump of coal in Americans' stockings with Christmas Eve passage of Obamacare."

Click here for the full story from The Washington Times.

The Right of Recall | 01/25/10

By Peter Ferrara. This article originally appeared on Fox Forum on January 25, 2010.

Congress is out of control. The public overwhelmingly opposes the pending legislation for a government takeover of health care. But Congressional leaders are telling us they don't care. They know best, and they're going to pass it anyway.

We see the same attitude on other issues, from global warming regulation, to taxes, government spending, deficits, federal debt, energy policy, welfare, corporate bailouts, and beyond. Too many of our Congressional "representatives" seem unwilling to listen to the views of their constituents, insisting that they already know it all. They respond to dissenters with name-calling, labeling them yahoos, Nazis, and tea baggers.

Continue reading “The Right of Recall”.

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.