The citizens of Minnesota are granted the authority to perform a recall election.


248_Constitution_GraphicThe citizens of Minnesota are granted the authority to perform a recall election by the Section 6 of Article 8 of the Minnesota Constitution.

This is not aimed at any elected official. The intent is to inform citizens on the recall process in Minnesota.

Signature Requirement

The amount of valid signatures required for recall election are 25 percent of total votes cast for position at last election.

Process

First, a Proposed Recall Petition must be submitted to the Minnesota Secretary of State specifying the grounds upon which the official should be recalled. These must be either Malfeasance, Nonfeasance, or Serious Crime. If the petition is for a statewide office, it must also include 25 signatures of Minnesota residents who are eligible to vote. The signatures are then checked by the Secretary of State and, if verified, are sent to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The Court then has 10 days to decide if the grounds for recall stated in the petition are sufficient and meet statutory requirements. If the requirements are met a “Special Master” is appointed to hold a public hearing to decide if the allegations in the grounds for recall are true. The Special Master then submits a report to the Supreme Court regarding the truth of the allegations. The Supreme Court will then accordingly decide, based on the report, whether or not the grounds are true and if they are, the court will order the secretary of state to issue a recall petition.

Petitioners will have 90 days to gather signatures of 25% of the number of votes cast for the affected office in the previous election. Once the signatures have been gathered they will be returned to the Secretary of State for verification. If the signatures meet the verification requirements the petition will be sent to the governor and a recall election date will be set.

The election will be a simple “Yes”/”No” ballot in which “Yes” is for the recall and “No” is against. The election will be held in conjunction with a general election if possible. If the recall passes the office will be vacant and an election to fill it will be set.

Special Note

Unlike most states, Minnesota has very specific grounds that must be met for a recall petition to even be circulated. These are Malfeasance, which means that a state official acted unlawfully in their duties as a state official, Nonfeasance, which means a state official failed to perform his duties, and Serious Crime, which means that the official committed a gross misdemeanor or felony. If it cannot be proven that the official has committed one of these acts, it is impossible to recall them.

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