Recall in the United States

The concept of Recall goes back to even before the Constititution to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631. Recall was considered but ultimately rejected by the Constitutional Convention. However Recall was picked up by more than half of the individual atates which now have some level of Recall. Some states have it for local officials only but many allow their state legislators and even governors to be recalled.

Every state has its own rules as to the percentage required, (25% in most cases), and whether that percentage is of the total electorate or just the number who voted. Some states also specify the grounds for recall such as malfeance, neglect of duty, incompetence, or permanent inability to perform official duties, but most states set no grounds.

Recall is widely used in the United States. In 2011 alone, there were at least 150 successful recall petitions leading to new elections. Of these, 75 officials were recalled, and nine officials resigned under threat of recall. Recalls were held in 17 states in 73 different jurisdictions. (52 were for city council, 30 were for mayor, 17 were for school board, 11 were for state legislators)

Detailed information is available at: and