2020 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 4 - Recall of Public Officers


Cross references.

- Recall of public officials holding elective office, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. II, Sec. II, Para. IV.

Special elections and primaries generally, § 21-2-540 et seq.

Editor's notes.

- Former Chapter 4 of Title 21, known as the "Public Officer's Recall Act" was declared unconstitutional in the case of Mitchell v. Wilkerson, 258 Ga. 608, 372 S.E.2d 432 (1988). That chapter consisted of Code Sections21-4-1 through21-4-19 and was derived from Ga. L. 1979, p. 1612; Ga. L. 1980, p. 1436; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1512; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1653; Ga. L. 1983, p. 140; Ga. L. 1983, p. 884; Ga. L. 1984, p. 133; Ga. L. 1987, p. 34; and Ga. L. 1987, p. 896.

Ga. L. 1989, p. 1721, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval and shall be applicable to every public official who holds elective office on or after the effective date of this Act. The provisions of this Act shall apply with respect to an incumbent public official where the act or omission constituting grounds for recall, as specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (7) of Code Section 21-4-3, occurred in a previous term of office but was withheld from public knowledge or public disclosure until subsequent to the general election at which the incumbent was last elected, provided that an application for a recall petition is filed within 12 months after such general election." This Act became effective April 19, 1989.

Law reviews.

- For note on 1989 enactment of this chapter, see 6 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 236 (1989).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, cases decided prior to the 1989 revision of this chapter are included in the annotations for this chapter.

Constitutionality.

- The absence of a specification of grounds for a recall in O.C.G.A. T. 21, Ch. 4 caused the statute to fall short of that which was required of the General Assembly by Ga. Const. 1983, Art. II, Sec. II, Para. IV and resulted in a fatal constitutional infirmity. Mitchell v. Wilkerson, 258 Ga. 608, 372 S.E.2d 432 (1988).

Harmless irregularities or technical violations.

- The following alleged irregularities or technical violations did not endanger the interest intended to be protected by O.C.G.A. T. 21, Ch. 4: (1) in some instances the circulators signed as electors petitions which they were circulating; (2) two circulators signed the affidavit on petitions when neither of the circulators saw all of the electors sign; and (3) a notary public notarized the circulator's affidavit on a petition which the notary public has signed as an elector. Parker v. McCants, 258 Ga. 364, 369 S.E.2d 481 (1988).

Solicitation of signatures in private shopping malls.

- Nothing in the Georgia Constitution or the Recall Act of 1989, O.C.G.A. § 21-4-1 et seq., either separately or together, establishes a right of private citizens to enter onto privately owned shopping malls to solicit signatures for a recall petition. Citizens for Ethical Gov't, Inc. v. Gwinnett Place Assoc., 260 Ga. 245, 392 S.E.2d 8 (1990).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions decided prior to the 1989 revision of this chapter are included in the annotations for this chapter.

Specific reason for recall effort.

- The Public Officers Recall Act, O.C.G.A. § 21-4-1 et seq., contains no requirement that the recall effort be based upon any specific reason with respect to the public officer who is the subject of the effort. 1981 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U81-11.

Initiation of second recall effort.

- Former Code 1933, §§ 89-1905 and 89-1914 (see now O.C.G.A. §§ 21-4-5 and21-4-14) represent the only constraints upon initiation of a second recall effort notwithstanding previous but unsuccessful recall efforts made against the same public officer. 1981 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U81-11.

Appeal of conviction not bar to recall election.

- The recall election procedures of the former Public Officers Recall Act, O.C.G.A. § 21-4-1 et seq., could be invoked by electors with respect to a public official notwithstanding the pendency of that official's appeal of a felony conviction. 1983 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-16.

Supersession of local provisions.

- The special election provisions of the former Public Officers Recall Act, O.C.G.A. § 21-4-1 et seq., superseded any provisions of any local Act providing for the filling of vacancies on a county board of commissioners. 1983 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-16.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Construction and application of constitutional or statutory requirement as to short title, ballot title, or explanation of nature of proposal in initiative referendum, or recall petition, 106 A.L.R. 555.

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