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MANAGEMENT UPDATE.

THE ELECTION RECALL THREAT

As of April 27th, “all but one elected Flint City Council member has faced the possibility of a recall,” reported the East Village Magazine, a non-profit community news magazine for that Michigan city. 


Clearly, Flint is an aberration, but it’s far from the only city in which council members are subjected to efforts to remove them from office. In fact, Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew on April 16 reported that 78 city council members had been targeted for recall so far this year, about 42% of the 186 officials who are currently facing a recall threat. 


Every year, except for 2021 – when school board members were the most common target of recall efforts – city council members have been the most vulnerable to recall attempts. 



Depending on external events, political controversies and individual state and local issues, the number of officials targeted by recall efforts since 2010 have ranged from a low of 223 in 2013 to a high of 545 in 2021 – a year in which pandemic fatigue and accelerating controversy over public health, vaccines, school closings/openings and mask mandates was at a high point. By 2023, the number had dropped to 301 recall efforts against 437 officials.


It’s important to note that relatively few of these recall efforts are successful. Over the 2010 to 2023 time span, only about 17% were successful, according to Ballotpedia. Interestingly, even though the number of recall efforts peaked in 2021, the success rate was far below average at about 5%. 


As with just about all state and local government issues, laws on how recalls are handled – and even whether they’re permitted -- vary depending on location. Ballotpedia provides a handy guide here. There are 19 states that clearly provide for recall of state officials and 39 that allow recalls of local ones, though often with limits. Between 2010 and April 2024, the largest number of officials experiencing recall efforts occurred in California, Michigan and Colorado.


For readers who want to know more about this topic, Ballotpedia provides plenty of information and tracks recall attempts, laws, statistics and results on an ongoing basis.


#StateandLocalGovernmentRecallElections #CityCouncilRecallEffort #FlintCityCouncilRecallEffort #Ballotpedia #SchoolBoard2021RecallEffort #StateandLocalRecallSuccessData #ElectedOfficialRecallThreat #B&GWeeklySelection 


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