With the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ validation of signatures on petitions that seek the recall of three City Councilmembers, citizens likely will have questions about what comes next in the recall process. The following information may answer many of those questions; if citizens require further information or clarification, they can contact the Fullerton City Clerk’s Office at (714) 738-6350.
What is a recall?
The State Constitution grants voters the power to remove elected officials from office before the expiration of their terms. The recall process, which is governed by Division 11 of the California Election Code, has been a part of our governmental system since 1911.
Recall Election FAQs
When is the recall election?
Tuesday, June 5, 2012. We have consolidated the special recall election with the June 2012 statewide primary election to comply with Elections Code that requires the recall election to be combined with an existing election if it falls within 88-125-days of calling the election.
What will I vote on in the recall?
The recall ballot will have three, two-part questions (one question for each of the three Council Members under recall). In the first part of each question, voters will vote for or against the recall of each of the three City Council Members. In the second part of each question, the voter is asked to select a replacement candidate for each City Council seat if they are recalled.
If a majority of the voters vote "yes"; on the first question, then the recall is successful and the replacement candidate who gets the most votes for that seat is elected for the unexpired term of office. (click here for sample ballot questions)
Do I have to vote on both parts of the recall question?
No, voters may vote or not vote on any question on the recall ballot they choose. For example, a voter does not need to vote on the question to recall an incumbent in order to cast a ballot for one of the replacement candidates.
If I vote against the recall of an incumbent, can I still vote on replacement candidates?
Yes, you can vote against the recall and still cast your vote for a replacement candidate, should the recall succeed.
How are the replacement candidates elected? Is it the candidates with the top three highest vote totals?
No. Candidates must state which seat they want to fill and run only for that seat. The top vote-getter for each seat would win the election for that seat.
How do I register to vote?
You can find registration forms at http://www.ocvote.com/ or call the Registrar of Voters at 714.567.7600. (You can also check your registration status, party affiliation, polling place and view your sample ballot at http://www.ocvote.com/.)
How do I request a Vote-By-Mail Ballot for the June 5, 2012 Election?
You can request a Vote-by-Mail ballot through May 29, 2012 at http://www.ocvote.com/ or call the Registrar of Voters at 714.567.7600. (You can also track the status of your Vote-by-Mail ballot at http://www.ocvote.com/.)
How much will the recall election cost?
The estimated cost of a special election consolidated with the June primary is $129,000-$160,000. The actual cost will depend on the number of recall contests and the number of candidates.
Who pays for the election?
The City of Fullerton.
What happens if the recall election for any one or all of the incumbents is successful?
If any of the recall races succeed, the incumbent will leave office and the replacement candidate with the highest number of votes will be seated at the City Council meeting at which the Council certifies the final election results provided by the Registrar of Voters. This could happen at the July 17, 2012 City Council meetings.
How long do replacement candidates (if the recall is successful) serve?
The winning replacement candidate/s will serve the remainder of the term of the Councilmember they ran to replace. Replacement candidates for the seats held by Councilmembers McKinley and Bankhead would serve through December 2014. The replacement candidate for the seat held by Councilmember Jones would serve through December 2012.
Recall Candidate Nominations FAQs
Who can run to replace the Councilmembers if the recall passes?
Candidates for elective office must be registered voters of the city at the time the elections official issues nominations papers. Any citizen of Fullerton who is a U.S. citizen, over the age of 18, with no felony convictions, can file to run for a specific Councilmember’s seat.
Candidates must pay a $25 filing fee when filing nominations papers. Candidates also have the option to include a candidate statement in the official election pamphlet. Candidates must pay $1184 for a 200-word statement at the time of filing nominations papers. That statement would be printed on the sample ballot/voter information material that is mailed to voters.
Can the incumbents run as recall election candidates?
A Councilmember in a recall election cannot run for any Council seat in the same recall election. The Elections Code 11381(c) says "no person whose recall is being sought may be a candidate to succeed himself or herself at a recall election nor to succeed any other member of the same governing board whose recall is being sought at the same election."
How do I run for City Council?
The City Clerk will issue nomination papers to candidates. It’s best to contact the City Clerk at (714) 738-6350 to schedule an appointment as the process takes 30-60 minutes to pull and another 30-60 to file nominations papers.
When can I pull nomination papers?
The timeframe for the nominations period depends on when the City Council calls the election. The City Clerk cannot issue nominations papers until after the Council has called the election. The deadline to submit nominations papers is March 9, 2012.
Can I run for more than one seat?
Recall Petition FAQs
What are the steps in the recall process?
The recall process is comprised of multiple milestone steps. Click here to see a flow chart of the recall process http://ocvote.com/election/recall_flow.htm.
Who on the Fullerton City Council is named in this recall?
Councilmembers F. Richard Jones, M.D., Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley.
When do the normal terms for the incumbent expire?
Councilmember Jones – November 2012; Councilmembers McKinley and Bankhead – November 2014
How many signatures were needed on the petitions to recall the three?
Each petition needed 10,554 valid signatures to qualify for placement on the ballot (15 percent of registered Fullerton voters at time of circulation).
What was the cost to the City for signature verification?
The cost to the City to verify the signatures for all three petitions was $9,071.20.
Could someone who signed a petition request to have his or her name removed from the petition?
Yes, anyone who signed the petition could have notified the Elections Official that they wished to withdraw their signature from a petition until the proponents filed the signed petition with the City Clerk’s Office.
How many signatures were submitted/withdrawn?
Councilmember McKinley - 17,727 signatures; 145 withdrawals.
Councilmember Bankhead – 17,488 signatures; 140 signature withdrawals.
Councilmember Jones – 17,856 signatures; 137 signature withdrawals.
How long did the signature verification take?
The Elections Official had 30 days excluding weekends and holidays to verify signatures. For these petitions, the verification had to be completed by March 5.
Now that the petitions have been validated, what’s the next step in the recall process?
The City Council will certify the signature verification at its Feb. 21 meeting. The City Council must call for the recall election no later than its next meeting (March 6), provided the Council meets again within 14 days.