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Recall an Elected Official

A petition for recall is limited to the request that an election be called and held in the voting area for the purpose of recalling a public officer. No recall petition may be submitted for certification to or accepted for certification by the registrar of voters or any other official if less than six months remain in the term of office.

General Information on Recalls

All recall petitions shall be on a local recall petition form or a statewide official recall petition form. Any petition not on such a form shall be invalid. A copy of the recall petition must be filed with secretary of state by the chairman of the recall committee prior to entering any signatures. Once the first signature is obtained, the recall petition becomes a public record with the chairman or vice chairman, when acting as the chairman, as custodian. After the petition is submitted to the registrar of voters for certification, the chairman or vice chairman, when acting as the chairman, shall no longer be the custodian.

All signatures on recall petitions must be handwritten. The petition shall be signed by 33 and 1/3 of the qualified electors of the voting area wherein a recall election is petitioned, or 40 percent of the qualified electors within the voting area where fewer than 1,000 qualified electors reside in the voting area. Contact the registrar of voters for the total number of eligible voters of the voting area.

The completed petition is submitted to the registrar(s) of voters for certification not later than 180 days after being filed with secretary of state. An exception to this is if there are fewer than 1,000 qualified electors in the voting area, the petition must be submitted not later than 90 days after being filed with secretary of state. If the final day for submitting the petition falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the deadline will be on the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

The registrar of voters certifies the recall petition within 15 working days after it is presented to him or her, or  within 20 working days after it is presented to him or her if any parish wholly or partially within the voting area contains more than 50,000 registered voters.

The petition is then forwarded to the governor. The governor issues an election proclamation within 15 days after he or she receives the certified petition from the registrar of voters, if the required number of qualified electors of the voting area signed the recall petition.   

For a primary election date, the proclamation will be issued on or before the last day for candidates to qualify in the election (last day of qualifying). For a  general election date,  the proclamation will be issued on or before the 46th day prior to the election (same as propositions). In all cases where the governor is the subject of the recall petition, the secretary of state shall issue the proclamation and act in all matters where it is made the duty of the governor to act. If the secretary of state is the subject of the recall petition, the governor shall act instead of the secretary of state.

Immediately after the issuance of the proclamation, the governor publishes the proclamation in the official journal of each parish where the recall election is to be held. Within 24 hours after issuing the proclamation, the governor sends a copy of the petition and proclamation, by registered or certified mail, to the clerk of the district court for each parish in which the recall election will be held. A copy of the petition and proclamation will also be sent to the secretary of state. Within 24 hours after receiving the copies, the secretary of state notifies all other election officials in the parish(es) where the recall election is to be held.

If the recall passes, the public officer is recalled and the office is vacated upon the expiration of the time period for contesting the recall election (4:30 pm on the ninth day after the date of the election) or if a contest is filed timely, upon the final judgment becoming definitive. The office will be filled as in the case of ordinary vacancies and according to the constitution and laws of the state. The recalled official cannot be appointed to fill the vacancy; however the recalled official may qualify to be a candidate in the special election to fill the vacancy.

If the recall fails, no recall election for the same official shall be held within 18 months from the date of the failed recall election.

If the officer subject to the recall election resigns prior to the first day of early voting and the recall election is the only issue on the ballot, early voting and the recall election is not held. If the recall election is not the only issue on the ballot and the early voting ballot has been prepared, the registrar of voters shall post a notice of the resignation at each early voting location where the recall is on the ballot. If the Election Day ballot has been printed, the clerk of court shall post notice of the resignation at each polling place where the recall is on the ballot. Any votes cast in the recall election shall be null and void and shall not be counted for any purpose whatsoever. 

View the recall history in Louisiana.