The most utilized process of removing a State Senator from office is called a recall. While it is often mistakenly referred to as impeachment, the processes differ in that a recall is a political device and while impeachment is a legal procedure. Recalls allow citizens to remove and replace public officials from office before the end of a term.
Find out if your state allows for recalls at National Conference of State Legislatures' website. Not all states follow this procedure. Eighteen states support the right of citizens to recall state officials. Between 29 and 36 states allow for the recall of local officials.
Find out if your state has specific grounds for recall at National Conference of State Legislatures' website. Seven states require that certain provisions be met before a drawing up a petition for the removal of a public official.
Develop a petition based on your state's requirements. Different states use different formulas for deciding the number of signatures that must be obtained before the petition for recall is considered valid. Note the circulation time allowance for the petition.
Participate in the recall election. Once the petition signatures have been counted and validated, a recall election is set. In some states the recall election is held simultaneously with an election for the official's successor. In other states, the recall election is held and if it is successful the office is then declared "vacant."
- Recalls for state officials are generally unsuccessful. Those at the local level are more frequently used and are generally more successful. However, this tool is the most efficient means that a citizen has of removing an official from office.
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