2020 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 4 - Recall of Public Officers
§ 21-4-4. Officers Subject to Recall; Number of Electors Needed to Demand Recall; Limitation on Number of Public Officials Who May Be Subjects of a Particular Recall Petition; Grounds for Recall

Universal Citation: GA Code § 21-4-4 (2020)
  1. Every public official who holds elective office, either by election or by appointment, is subject to recall from office by electors who are registered and qualified to vote in the recall election and who reside in the electoral district from which candidates are elected to that office:
    1. In the case of a state officer whose electoral district encompasses the entire state, the number of electors necessary to petition the recall of the officer shall be equal to at least 15 percent of the number of electors who were registered and qualified to vote at the last preceding election for any candidate offering for the office held by the officer. At least one-fifteenth of the number of electors necessary to petition the recall of the officer must reside in each of the United States congressional districts in the state as said congressional districts may now or hereafter exist; or
    2. In the case of a state officer whose electoral district encompasses only a part of the state or in the case of a local officer, the number of electors necessary to petition the recall of the officer shall be equal to at least 30 percent of the number of electors registered and qualified to vote at the last preceding election for any candidate offering for the office held by the officer.
  2. No recall petition shall demand the recall of more than one public official.
  3. Every public official who holds elective office, either by election or by appointment, is subject to recall on the grounds that such public official has, while holding any public office, conducted himself or herself in a manner which relates to and adversely affects the administration of his or her current office and adversely affects the rights and interests of the public if one or more additional grounds for recall exist as set forth in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (7) of Code Section 21-4-3.

(Code 1981, §21-4-4, enacted by Ga. L. 1989, p. 1721, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 230, § 18.)

Law reviews.

- For article, "Local Government Law," see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 389 (2001). For note on the 2001 amendment to this Code section, see 18 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 114 (2001).

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 Code section.

Cited in Cone v. Johnson, 251 Ga. 371, 306 S.E.2d 244 (1983).

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 and under Ga. L. 1979, p. 1612 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Required number of signatures where form of government altered.

- In the case of county commissioners who were previously elected at-large but now represent districts under a new plan of government, the number of signatures required for a recall petition should be calculated based upon the number of voters registered and qualified to vote in the last preceding general election for the area encompassed by the district which the commissioner now represents. 1986 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 86-12 (decided under former § 21-4-4 prior to the 1989 revision).

Signatures needed on recall petition.

- A recall petition for a member of the Georgia House of Representatives who is elected from a multi-member district and who is elected at-large by vote of the electors of the entire district shall contain signatures equal to at least 30 percent of the electors of the entire district who were registered and qualified to vote at the last preceding general election for the house district. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 85-21 (decided under former § 21-4-4 prior to the 1989 revision).

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., may 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 (decided under former § 21-4-4 prior to the 1989 revision).

Section looks to voters of district which official presently represents.

- The use of the present tense in referring to the electorate implies an intent by the legislature to look to the voters of the specific district which the official now represents. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U79-20 (decided under Ga. L. 1979, p. 1612).

Who may sign petition for recall of county commissioner.

- All electors in a county may sign a recall petition on a county commissioner who is voted on by the electors of the county at large, even though the commissioner is required by law to reside in a certain district of the county. The residence of the office holder is not relevant to the question of who may sign petitions seeking the officer's recall. 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 80-39 (decided under Ga. L. 1979, p. 1612).

Persons eligible to sign recall petition and vote in election.

- Persons who register to vote after a recall petition is issued are eligible to vote in the recall election and may sign the petition. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U85-38 (decided under former § 21-4-4 prior to the 1989 revision).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees, § 199 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 67 C.J.S., Officers and Public Employees, §§ 271, 272.

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and application of state statutes regulating or proscribing payment in connection with gathering signatures on nominating petitions for public office or initiative petitions, 40 A.L.R.6th 317.

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