Measure O: Amend Charter Recall

  • Simple Majority Required

The Question: Should Berkeley amend its Charter to change the recall provisions to agree with State and case law?

What Measure O Would Do: Measure O is a “clean-up” measure that would make the City’s recall rules and schedule agree with the state Election Code and case law. The City could combine a recall election more easily with a scheduled election so that the County Registrar of Voters could run both elections at once. More voters could participate and the city would save money. Measure O changes the rules for recalling a Berkeley elected official, such as a City Council or School Board member.

Some of the changes are:

  • Prohibits recall if the official’s term would expire in six months or less;
  • Signatures on a recall petition must be verified using the most recent official report;
  • If the office becomes vacant after the recall petition has been filed, a recall election is not required;
  • Simplifies timing by allowing a 90-day period to circulate recall petitions;
  • Each petition signer must print name, add signature, list street and number;
  • Gives the City Clerk 30 days instead of 15 to examine and certify signatures;
  • Registered voters may vote for a replacement candidate even if they do not vote on the recall;
  • Allows the City Council and Board of Education 60 days rather than 30 to fill vacancies after a recall.

The Way It Is Now: City Charter recall provisions have not been amended since 1976. They require the City to call and pay for a special election. Since then, city elections have been consolidated with state and federal elections in November of even-numbered years and are run by the County Registrar of Voters. The State Election Code and case law have changed.

Fiscal Effect: Potential cost savings because recall elections are more likely to be consolidated with state elections.

Supporters Say:

  • Measure O modernizes our recall election procedures to conform to recent changes in the law.
  • Measure O will prevent costly special elections.
  • Citizens will still be able to recall an elected official by submitting petitions signed by at least 25% of registered voters eligible to vote on that office.

No opposing argument was filed.

The full text of Measure O:

Return to all Pros and Cons page