Recall Elections

Chapter 29A.56 RCW: SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES ELECTIONS

What is a recall election?

A recall election allows voters to decide whether or not to remove an elected official from office before the end of the official’s term.


Who can request a recall election?

Any registered voter of the county can file a petition to recall an elected official. 


What happens once a petition to recall an election has been filed? 
  1. The Auditor's Office will serve that filing document upon the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney.
  2. The Prosecuting Attorney prepares the ballot synopsis and transmits it to Superior County to determine sufficiency. 
  3. Upon approval of the ballot synopsis and charges, signatures can begin to be collected. (RCW 29A.56.180)
  4. The sponsors of the recall have a maximum of 180 days, in which to obtain and file supporting signatures.
  5. The signed petition pages are filed with the Pierce County Auditor for voter and signature verification.
  6. If the recall signatures are sufficient, the Pierce County Auditor sets a special election date. Not less than 45 days no more than 90 days after certified. Whenever possible, the election is scheduled during a regular election (but may not be scheduled between the Primary and General elections).
What happens after a recall election?
  • If the recall passes, the elected official is discharged. The district then appoints someone to fill the vacated position.
  • If the recall fails, the elected official stays in the office for the rest of their term.