Arizona

Eligible for Recall: John Kyl (R): elected to third term in 2006, up for reelection in 2012; John McCain (R): elected to fifth term in 2010, up for reelection in 2016

Signature Requirement: 25% of the votes cast in the last election for the official being recalled

Circulation Time: 120 days

Type of Recall Election: Recall Election held simultaneously with election for successor

Constitutional Provision: Article VIII, Part 1

Section 1: Officers Subject to Recall; Petitioners
Every public officer in the state of Arizona, holding an elective office, either by election or appointment, is subject to recall from such office by the qualified electors of the electoral district from which candidates are elected to such office. Such electoral district may include the whole state. Such number of said electors as shall equal twentyfive per centum of the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election for all of the candidates for the office held by such officer, may by petition, which shall be known as a recall petition, demand his recall.

Section 2: Recall Petitions; Contents; Filing; Signatures; Oath
Every recall petition must contain a general statement, in not more than two hundred words, of the grounds of such demand, and must be filed in the office in which petitions for nominations to the office held by the incumbent are required to be filed. The signatures to such recall petition need not all be on one sheet of paper, but each signer must add to his signature the date of his signing said petition, and his place of residence, giving his street and number, if any, should he reside in a town or city. One of the signers of each sheet of such petition, or the person circulating such sheet, must make and subscribe an oath on said sheet, that the signatures thereon are genuine.

Section 3: Resignation of Officer; Special Election
If such officer shall offer his resignation it shall be accepted, and the vacancy shall be filled as may be provided by law. If he shall not resign within five days after a recall petition is filed as provided by law, a special election shall be ordered to be held as provided by law, to determine whether such officer shall be recalled. On the ballots at such election shall be printed the reasons as set forth in the petition for demanding his recall, and, in not more than two hundred words, the officer's justification of his course in office. He shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the result of such election shall have been officially declared.

Section 4: Special Election; Candidates; Results; Qualification of Successor
Unless the incumbent otherwise requests, in writing, the incumbent's name shall be placed as a candidate on the official ballot without nomination. Other candidates for the office may be nominated to be voted for at said election. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes shall be declared elected for the remainder of the term. Unless the incumbent receives the highest number of votes, the incumbent shall be deemed to be removed from office, upon qualification of the successor. In the event that the successor shall not qualify within five days after the result of said election shall have been declared, the said office shall be vacant, and may be filled as provided by law.

Section 5: Recall Petitions; Restrictions and Conditions
No recall petition shall be circulated against any officer until he shall have held his office for a period of six months, except that it may be filed against a member of the legislature at any time after five days from the beginning of the first session after his election. After one recall petition and election, no further recall petition shall be filed against the same officer during the term for which he was elected, unless petitioners signing such petition shall first pay into the public treasury which has paid such election expenses, all expenses of the preceding election.

Section 6: Application of General Election Laws; Implementary Legislation
The general election laws shall apply to recall elections in so far as applicable. Laws necessary to facilitate the operation of the provisions of this article shall be enacted, including provision for payment by the public treasury of the reasonable special election campaign expenses of such officer.

Initial Procedure: Every recall petition must contain a general statement, in not more than two hundred words, of the grounds of such demand, and must be filed in the office in which petitions for nominations to the office held by the incumbent are required to be filed. The signatures to such recall petition need not all be on one sheet of paper, but each signer must add to his signature the date of his signing said petition, and his place of residence, giving his street and number, if any, should he reside in a town or city. One of the signers of each sheet of such petition, or the person circulating such sheet, must make and subscribe an oath on said sheet, that the signatures thereon are genuine.

Contact Info:
The Honorable Ken Bennett
Secretary of State
1700 West Washington Street, 7th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2888
Phone: (602) 542-8683

Court Activity

No current cases.

News & Commentary

Recall Election Verified for Arizona School District Board Members | 01/07/14

After months of collecting signatures and having the names reviewed and verified by county officials, a group of Sunnyside citizens can move forward with a recall election of two school district Governing Board members.

The Pima County Recorder's Office certified the signatures this week, clearing the final hurdle in Sunnyside Recall 2013's  quest to recall Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board President Louie Gonzales and board member Bobby Garcia.

The group needed 1,345 signatures for each board member, but turned in more than 2,100 names for each of them in November. 

Read more.

Recall Fails Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio | 05/31/13

Phoenix -- A group trying to recall Maricopa County, Arizona's Joe Arpaio, known as "America's Sheriff," failed on Thursday as opponents could not present enough petition signatures.

Read more.

Leading Arizona Democrat May Face Recall | 03/13/13

Arizona House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, could face a recall election. Paperwork was filed by Gordon Stoa and Randy Hancock on March 12 with the Secretary of State's Office to begin the recall process. The Secretary of State was still processing the paperwork and documents detailing the reason for the recall were not immediately available.

Former unsuccessful legislative candidate Bob Thomas of Phoenix, who is involved with the recall committee, called Fire Representative Chad Campbell, said: "People are concerned about some of the issues he's been promoting. The list (of issues) is too long to go over right now."


Click here for full article.

Group Begins Recall Effort Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio | 02/12/13

A political group called Respect Arizona has filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State's office to launch a campaign to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  Citizens for a Better Arizona last year waged a failed "Joe's Got to Go" campaign to defeat Arpaio in his re-election bid.

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Arizona GOP Legislators Move to Change Recall Rules | 02/12/13

Hoping to avoid another ouster of one of their own, Republican legislators on Feb. 7 voted to change the rules for recall elections.

The measure approved by the House Judiciary Committee would require there be both a primary as well as a general election once a public official is recalled. Now, there is a single winner-take-all election.

That distinction is important.That would mean only Republicans get to vote in the first step of the process in a recall of a GOP lawmaker. Whoever survives that partisan primary would face off against the Democrat and any others in the general election -- assuming there is anyone else running in what might be a largely one-party district.

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Arizona's Senate President Loses Recall Election | 11/10/11

Russell Pearce, architect of Arizona's toughened immigration law, lost a recall election on Tuesday to fellow Republican Jerry Lewis.
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Arizona Recall a Dead Heat, Survey Shows | 11/03/11

Senate President Russell Pearce and challenger Jerry Lewis are tied just prior to the Nov. 8 recall election, according to an Arizona Capitol Times survey.
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Arizona Town Ousts Mayor | 09/06/11


Quartzsite voters ousted a controversial mayor in a recall election on Sept. 6, replacing him with a former town council member who resigned earlier this year so he could challenge the mayor.
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Recall Elections Surge in Local and State Governments | 06/22/11

"The new president of Arizona's state Senate, Russell Pearce, had only 21 days to enjoy that position before opponents began circulating petitions in January to recall the freshly reelected conservative. That's more time than Jim Suttle had. The night the Democrat was elected mayor of Omaha in 2009, backers of his rivals began to talk online about trying to remove him from office. Suttle barely survived a recall election in January."

Click here for the full story from Los Angeles Times online.

Outspoken Tucson Sheriff Faces Recall Bid | 01/20/11

"Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has never lost an election, but that was before his remarks assigning blame for the deadly Tucson, Ariz., shooting to political 'vitriol' and calling Arizona 'a mecca for prejudice and bigotry.' Now it's Sheriff Dupnik who finds himself on the public-opinion hot seat. A group opposed to illegal immigration has begun an effort to recall the sheriff in a special election. Meanwhile, a Pima County tea party group is planning on holding a 'Dump Dupnik' rally next week outside his office."

Click here for the full story from The Washington Times website.

Recall Sheriff Dupnik | 01/14/11

"A lot of people are wondering what to do about Clarence Dupnik, sheriff of Pima County, Ariz. He's the left-wing lawman who shot off his mouth and blamed everyone to the right of President Obama for the Jan. 8 massacre in Tucson. Last April, he boasted that he would not enforce S.B. 1070, the state's immigration enforcement law, which he called "racist," "stupid" and "disgusting." In September, he accused Tea Party members of being bigots."

Click here to view full story from The Washington Times.

Reckless Congress Makes Case for Recall | 12/17/10

"If ever a Congress epitomized the need for more accountability, it's the 111th lame-duck gang. Sorry, that's unfair to gangsters. With most Americans distracted by holiday plans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has sprung another Christmas surprise, vowing to ram through a far-left agenda in the waning days of 2010. Last year, he put a giant lump of coal in Americans' stockings with Christmas Eve passage of Obamacare."

Click here for the full story from The Washington Times.

Each state has its own requirements as to the manner in which petitions must be collected, signed and filed. It is imperative that official recall committees are legally formed in each state according to the state laws and regulations. The handling of the petitions must comply with the laws and regulations of each state.