The Ten Action Recall StatesTen states—Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin—have clear constitutional or statutory provisions for recall of all elected officials. Together, these states have 13 incumbent U.S. Senators not standing for re-election in 2010, but, in which, successful petition drives could put any or all of them either on the November ballot or in a special election.
States With Other Recall ProvisionsEight other states have more narrowly defined recall provisions that evidently do not cover elected federal officials. They include: Alaska, California, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, and Rhode Island.
Here, it will be necessary to encourage the state legislatures to extend their recall provisions to cover federal officials. The language should be modeled on that of New Jersey:
“The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing the State in the United States Congress. The Legislature shall enact laws to provide for such recall elections.”
States with Other RemediesSeveral other states, while not having recall provisions, do have the Initiative Process, by which citizens propose statutes or constitutional amendments and place them before voters for approval. These include: Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
Here, the initiative process can be used to make a recall provision legal. The language in the initiative, again, should reflect that of New Jersey and specifically read: “The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing the State in the United States Congress. The Legislature shall enact laws to provide for such recall elections.”