Recall an Elected Official

Removing an Official from Office Through Direct Vote

A prospective recall petition may be filed for a public office holder, other than a state senator or representative, only after the public officer has served at least 6 months of their current term of office.

A prospective petition may be filed for a state senator or representative any time after the 5th day of the first legislative session of their current term of office.​ 

The filing officer for all public officials elected to a state office is the state elections office. For all other public officers the recall process starts with their appropriate county, city or district filing officer. 

A chief petitioner​ begins the recall process by filing the following form:

SEL35​0: Prospective Petition​ - Recall cover sheet

Recalls: Signature Gathering

The chief petitioner may begin gathering signatures after receiving written approval to circulate, and after reviewing with circulators the legal requirements and guidelines for circulating a recall petition.

After gathering the required number of signatures, the chief petitioner submits them to the appropriate filing officer for verification, no later than 90 days after the prospective petition was filed.

Recalls: Signature Verification

The elections filing officer must complete the signature verification process no later than the 10th day after signatures are submitted for verification, or no later than the 100th day after the prospective petition was filed, whichever is earlier.

If the filing officer determines that the petition contained an insufficient number of valid signatures, and the deadline to submit signatures has passed, the recall process is stopped.

If the filing officer determines that the petition contained a sufficient number of valid signatures, the public officer may submit either a statement of justification to be printed on the ballot or a written resignation no later than the 5th day after the petition qualified to the ballot.

If the public officer holder does not resign within 5 days, a recall election must be held no later than the 35th day after the last day for the public officer to resign. 

The required number of valid signatures is 15% of the votes cast for governor in the public officer’s district during the last gubernatorial election at which a candidate for Governor was elected to a full term. Votes cast includes miscellaneous write-in votes, but not over votes or under votes.​ 

Want to Know More?

Recall Manual: A full explanation of how to recall an elected official.

Failure to follow the instructions in the manual may invalidate the petition or delay receiving written approval to circulate.