HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 11
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
William "Bill" R. Rehm and James G. Townsend and Rod Montoya
A JOINT RESOLUTION
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE 20 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF NEW
MEXICO TO ALLOW THE RECALL OF PUBLIC OFFICERS ELECTED TO A CONSTITUTIONALLY CREATED ELECTIVE OFFICE IN THE EXECUTIVE OR LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. It is proposed to amend Article 20 of the
constitution of New Mexico by adding a new section to read:
"A. Registered qualified electors may petition for the recall of an incumbent elective officer elected to a constitutionally created office in the executive or legislative branch of state government by filing a petition with the secretary of state demanding the recall of the incumbent. The secretary of state shall date stamp the recall petition when received.
B. The petition for recall shall cite the grounds for recall based upon acts or failures to act occurring during the current term of the officer sought to be recalled. The registered qualified electors shall be the sole and exclusive judges of the legality, reasonableness and sufficiency of the grounds for recall, and the grounds shall not be open to review.
C. The recall petition shall be:
(1) circulated for no more than:
(a) one hundred eighty days if the officer sought to be recalled holds a statewide office; or
(b) ninety days if the officer sought to be recalled holds a non-statewide office; and
(2) signed by registered qualified electors:
(a) of the state if the officer sought to be recalled was elected on a statewide basis or of the district from which the officer sought to be recalled was elected; and
(b) not fewer in number than twenty-five
percent of the number of persons who voted in the election for
the office in the last preceding general election at which the
office was voted upon.
D. After the recall petition has been circulated, the petition shall be filed with the secretary of state for verification of the signatures, as to both number and
qualifications of the persons signing. Only the petition or copies of the petition with the legible, original date stamp of the secretary of state shall be considered. If the requisite number of signatures of registered qualified electors appears on the petition, the secretary of state shall certify the recall petition to the governor, and the question of recall of the officer shall be placed on the ballot for a special election, which shall allow in-person and absentee voting, to be called and held within ninety days or at the next occurring general election if that election is to be held within ninety days.
E. If the officer subject to recall resigns within five days after the secretary of state certifies the recall petition, the vacancy caused by the resignation shall be filled as provided by law. If the officer does not resign within five days after the certification of the recall petition, the secretary of state shall make or cause to be made publication of notice for the holding of the election, and officers charged by law with duties concerning elections shall make all arrangements for the election.
F. On the official ballot for the recall election, there shall be printed:
(1) in not more than two hundred words, the grounds for recall, and in not more than three hundred words, if desired by the officer, the officer's justification of the officer's course of action in office;
(2) the words, "Shall (name of person against whom the recall petition is filed) be recalled from the office of (title of the office)?" and following the question, the words "Yes" and "No" on separate lines, with an appropriate target next to each word, for the voter to indicate the voter's vote; and
(3) the names of the people who have been nominated and certified as candidates to succeed the person sought to be recalled; provided that a vote cast shall not be counted for any candidate for the office, unless the voter also voted for or against the recall of the incumbent elective officer. The name of the person subject to the recall shall not be listed as a candidate for the office.
G. If a majority of those voting on the question of the recall of any incumbent from office votes "no", the incumbent shall continue in the office; if a majority votes "yes", the incumbent shall be deemed removed from office upon the qualification of the officer's successor.
H. If the officer is removed from office in the recall election, the candidate who received the highest number of votes for the office vacated shall be declared elected for the remainder of the term, and a certificate of election shall be issued to the candidate.
I. Candidates for the office subject to the recall election may be nominated by petition, as provided by law, and the nominating petition shall be filed no later than the fifty-sixth day before the recall election in the office in which petitions for nomination to the office are required by law to be filed.
J. A recall election shall not be conducted after
May 1 in a calendar year in which an election is to be held for
the office for which the recall is sought if the official
sought to be recalled is a candidate for reelection to the
office. A petition for recall shall not be circulated or filed against an officer until the officer has held office for at least six months, except a recall petition may be filed against a member of the state legislature at any time after five days from the convening and organizing of the legislature after the member's election. After one recall petition and election, no further recall election shall be held against the same officer during the term for which the officer was elected, unless the signatures of the recall petition equal at least fifty percent of the votes cast at the last preceding general election for all of the candidates of the office subject to recall.
K. If the governor is sought to be recalled, the duties imposed upon the governor by this section shall be performed by the lieutenant governor, and if the secretary of state is sought to be recalled, the duties imposed upon the secretary of state by this section shall be performed by the attorney general.
L. The provisions of this section shall be in addition to any other provisions for the removal of state officers as provided by law."
SECTION 2. The amendment proposed by this resolution
shall be submitted to the people for their approval or
rejection at the next general election or at any special
election prior to that date that may be called for that
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