Livingston County will be closed on Monday, May 27th in honor of Memorial Day.
All Officers, except Judicial Officers, in an elective office can be recalled. A person appointed to an elective office is subject to recall.

General Information

  • Recalls filed with the County Election Commission include: County Commissioner, Township, City or Village Officer, School Board Member, and District Library Board Member.
  • Recalls filed with the Secretary of State include: United States Senators, Members of Congress, State Senators and Representatives, elective State Officers (except Secretary of State,) and County officials.
  • There are two stages of a recall:
    • Recall language is submitted.
    • Recall signature petitions are filed.
  • A petition to recall an Officer cannot be submitted until the Officer has actually performed the duties of the office for at least six months or in the last six months of the term of office.
  • Recall petitions may not be circulated while an appeal is pending.
  • Signed recall petitions may not be filed:
    • During the first or last six months of the Officer’s term if the term of office is two years or less;
    • During the first or last year of the Officer’s term if the term of office is greater than two years.
  • If a recall petition is filed for the recall of an Officer having election duties for the recall election, the County Clerk will discharge the duties of the election (MCL 168.965.)

Submission Of Recall Petition Language

Sponsors of a recall effort submit a petition containing the reasons for recall to the Board of County Election Commission.

  • Language is submitted through the County Clerk of the county where the Officeholder resides.
  • The language must be submitted on the proposed recall petition form prescribed by the Secretary of State.
  • A separate submission must be made for each Officer whose recall is sought.
  • The petition sponsor must be registered to vote in the electoral district represented by the Officer.
  • The County Clerk accepting the petition language issues a receipt to the sponsor of the language, which shows the sponsor’s name, address, phone number, and the date of the filing.

Within three business days of receiving the recall petition, the Board of County Election Commission notifies the Officer whose recall is sought of each reason stated in the recall petition and of the date of the meeting of the Board of County Election Commission to consider whether each reason is factual and of sufficient clarity.

Filing Official

The Filing Official for recall petitions varies by office:

  • A recall petition for the offices of County Commissioner, Township, City, Village, and School Officials are to be submitted to the Board of County Election Commission.
  • A recall petition for the offices of Senator, Representative, Elective State Officers, and County Officials (other than County Commissioner) are to be submitted to the Secretary of State.
  • A recall petition for the office of Secretary of State are to be submitted to the Governor.

Hearing To Determine If Language Is Clear & Factual

Within three business days of filing petition language to the County Clerk:

  • The Board of County Election Commission will schedule a clarity and factual hearing.
  • The County Clerk will send a notice to Officer, including hearing date, time and location, date of petition filing, and content of petition language.
  • The County Clerk will send notice of hearing including date, time, and location to sponsor.

Between 10 – 20 days of filing petition language to the County Clerk:

  • The Board of County Election Commission conducts the clarity and factual hearing.
    • Public notice of the meeting must be posted at least 18 hours prior to hearing.
  • The Board of County Election Commission determines whether each reason for recall is factual and of sufficient clarity. If any reason is not factual or of sufficient clarity, the entire recall petition shall be rejected.
  • If approved, the Board of County Election Commission will provide a written copy of determination to the sponsor and Officer.

The Officer whose recall is sought and the sponsors of the petition may appear at the meeting and present arguments on whether each reason is factual and of sufficient clarity. (MCL 168.952(5))

If an appeal is filed by the Officer or sponsor of the determination by the Board of County Election Commission:

  • The appeal must be filed within 10 days of the determination.
  • The appeal must be filed to the Circuit Court in the county where the clarity and factual determination was made.
  • The recall petition is not valid for circulation until determination is made by the Circuit Court or until 40 days after the date of appeal, whichever is sooner.

Preparation & Circulation Of Recall Petitions

If the Board of County Election Commission or, on appeal from the Circuit Court determines the reasons for recall to be factual and sufficiently clear, the petition may be freely circulated for signatures.

Approved recall language is valid for 180 days after either of the following, whichever happens later:

  • The date the language was approved by the County Election Commission, or
  • The sooner of:
    • The date the language was approved by the Circuit Court.
    • 40 days after the date of the appeal.
Forming a Political Committee

Sponsors of a recall that receive or spend $500 or more in a calendar year are required to form a Political Committee and file all appropriate campaign finance reports. All Campaign Finance reports are filed with the County Clerk.

More on Campaign Finance

The Petition Form
  • Recall petitions must conform to the specifications prescribed by the Secretary of State (MCL 168.952.)
  • A separate petition must be circulated for each Officer whose recall is sought (MCL168.958a.)
  • Before a recall petition can be circulated, the circulator must complete the “heading” of each petition sheet by filling in:
    • The city or township and county where the sheet will be circulated
    • The name of the Officer whose recall is sought
    • The title of the office
    • The office district (if any)
    • The exact reasons for recall approved by the Board of County Election Commission or Circuit Court.

Circulation of Recall Petitions
  • Recall petitions are circulated within the district represented by the Officer whose recall is sought (MCL 168.954.)
  • The sheet may not be circulated outside of the jurisdiction listed in the petition heading. (Note: Recall petitions may not be circulated on a “countywide” petition form.)
  • A circulator of a recall petition does not have to be registered to vote and need not reside in the electoral district or the State of Michigan.
  • The petition may not contain signatures of voters who live outside the city or township specified in the heading.
  • The circulator may not leave a recall petition unattended in a public place; all signatures must be signed in the presence of the circulator (MCL 168.957.)
  • The circulator must complete, sign, and date the “circulator’s certificate” on the petition sheet, after gathering the last signature on that petition sheet. Circulators must indicate their residence address and city or township of residence on the circulator’s certificate.
  • Signatures on a sheet which are dated after the date on the circulator’s certificate are not valid.
Signers of Recall Petitions
  • Signers of recall petitions must be registered to vote in the electoral district of the Official whose recall is sought.
  • Each signer must list his or her signature, address, zip code, and the date of signing.
  • Ditto marks are not permitted for address or date.
  • If the recall petition is circulated within a city or school district that crosses county lines, each signer must be instructed to sign on a petition sheet with the name of his or her county of residence in the heading (MCL 168.958.)
  • All signatures must be signed in the presence of the circulator (MCL 168.957.)
  • A signer is not permitted to sign, date or enter the address for another voter. All voter information must be in the voter’s own hand. For example: a wife may not sign for her husband (MCL 168.954.)
Required Number of Signatures
  • The number of signatures needed to trigger a recall election is 25% of the votes cast in the Officer’s district for all candidates for the office of Governor in the last gubernatorial general election.
  • The County Clerk will provide the minimum number of valid signatures needed upon written request. The figure will be calculated and delivered to the requestor within five days after the County Clerk receives the written request. (If the 5th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the County Clerk has until the following business day to honor the request.)

While approved recall language is valid for 180 days, the signatures on a petition form are valid for 60 days (MCL 168.961.) Signatures older than 60 days before filing the petition sheet with the County Clerk are invalid.

Submission Of Petition Signatures

After the sponsor of a recall petition has collected signatures on their petition, the petitions are filed with the County Clerk.

  • All petition forms must be filed at the same time; the filer cannot submit additional petition sheets at a later time.
  • The County Clerk will immediately notify the Officer.
  • The County Clerk will make a preliminary check of the petition sheets within seven days of the filing.
  • The County Clerk will verify voter registration and signature checks of the filing.
  • The County Clerk must complete final review no later than 35 days after the filing.
Challenging the Petitions

The Officer whose recall is sought may submit written challenges within 30 days after the recall petition filing (MCL 168.961a.)

The Officer may challenge the:

  • Authenticity of a signature on the recall petition
  • Registration of an elector whose name appears on the recall petition

An Officer whose recall is sought must have at least 8 days after the completion of registration checks to review the signatures.

If the petitions contain a sufficient number of valid signatures:

  • The County Clerk calls a recall election to be conducted on the next regular election date that is:
    • At least 95 days after the date the recall petition was filed, and
    • Is the next May or November regular election date, whichever happens first.

If there is not a sufficient number of valid signatures, the County Clerk notifies the sponsor of insufficiency in writing with a copy to the Officer.

Recall Election: Who Are The Candidates

Candidates on a Recall Election for the Office of:

County Commissioner, Township, City or Village Officer, School Board Member, and District Library Board Member.

Incumbent Candidates

The Officer whose recall is sought is automatically listed as a candidate in the recall election, unless he or she withdraws within 10 days of the filing of the recall petition.

If the incumbent withdraws:

  • Partisan Office
    • The incumbent’s political party shall nominate a candidate for office.
    • The filing deadline is 5:00 p.m. on the 10th day after the calling of the recall election.
  • Nonpartisan Office
    • Candidates file a nonpartisan nominating petition:
      • With at least 10% of the signatures of the electoral district as required under MCL 168.544f, or MCL 168.303 for a school board member and the recall election to be held on even-year November OR
      • A $100.00 nonrefundable filing fee.
    • The filing deadline is 5:00 p.m. on the 10th day after the calling of the recall election.
Non-Incumbent Candidates
  • Partisan Office
    • Candidates are nominated by the appropriate political party unit.
    • Candidates without political party affiliation may file a qualifying petition:
      • With at least 10% of the number of signatures required under MCL 168.544f.
    • The filing deadline is 5:00 p.m. on the 10th day after the calling of the recall election.
  • Nonpartisan Office
    • Candidates file a nonpartisan nominating petition:
      • With at least 10% of the signatures of the electoral district as required under MCL 168.544f, or MCL 168.303 for a school board member and the recall election to be held on even-year November OR
      • A $100.00 nonrefundable filing fee.
    • The filing deadline is 5:00 p.m. on the 10th day after the calling of the recall election.
Nomination for Partisan Candidates (Other Than Incumbent) MCL 168.973a
  • For County Commissioner, the political party’s county executive committee nominates a candidate for office.
  • For township office:
    • If three or more members of the political party’s county executive committee reside in the township, those members shall nominate a candidate.
    • If two or fewer members of the political party’s county executive committee reside in the township, the political party’s entire county executive committee shall nominate a candidate.
Candidates on a Recall Election for the Office of:

United States Senators, Members of Congress, State Senators and Representatives, elective State Officers except the Secretary of State, and County Officials (other than County Commissioner) are to be submitted to the Secretary of State.

The Board of State Canvassers is required to perform the functions of a recall for the above. Visit Secretary of State Board of State Canvassers for more information.

Recall Elections: The Role of the Board of State Canvassers

Results Of Recall Election

The Board of County Canvassers certifies the following offices: County Commissioner, Township, City or Village Officer, School Board Member, and District Library Board Member (MCL 168.968.)

The Board of State Canvassers certifies the following offices: United States Senators, Members of Congress, State Senators and Representatives, elective State Officers, and County Officials.

  • If the recall is successful: The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the recall election is elected for the remainder of the term.
  • If the recall is unsuccessful: The Officer is not subject to recall again during the same term.
Elections Division
Elizabeth Hundley, Livingston County Clerk

Elizabeth Hundley
County Clerk

Kristi Cox
Chief Deputy County Clerk

Joseph Bridgman
Elections Coordinator/Deputy Clerk

Q

Phone

(517) 546-8177

Hours

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Historical Courthouse

200 E Grand River Ave
Howell, MI 48843

Fax

(517) 546-4354