[Rev. 12/21/2019 11:35:58 AM--2019]

CHAPTER 306 - RECALL OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 306.005           Informational pamphlet describing requirements of chapter; fee.

NRS 306.011           Regulations.

PETITIONS FOR RECALL

NRS 306.015           Contents and filing of notice of intent to circulate petition; circulation of petition for signatures; submission of petition to filing officer within prescribed periods; penalty for failure to submit petition as required; submission of petition to county clerk for signature verification; procedure for removing name from petition before completion of signature verification.

NRS 306.016           Certain persons required to pay costs of signature verification; exceptions; civil action to recover costs; joint and several liability for costs; regulations.

NRS 306.017           Employment by filing officer of independent legal counsel to provide advice concerning recall of public officer who is legal adviser.

NRS 306.020           Public officers subject to recall; eligibility to sign petition; required contents of petition.

NRS 306.025           Misrepresenting intent or content of petition for recall prohibited; penalty. [Replaced in revision by NRS 306.210.]

NRS 306.030           Petition may consist of number of copies; each page must meet certain requirements; each copy must be verified by circulator.

NRS 306.035           Signature verification by county clerk; all documents must be submitted to county clerk at same time.

NRS 306.040           Notification that number of signatures is sufficient; procedure for striking name from petition within certain time after completion of signature verification; issuance of call for special election; legal challenge to petition. [Effective through December 31, 2019.]

NRS 306.040           Notification that number of signatures is sufficient; procedure for striking name from petition within certain time after completion of signature verification; issuance of call for special election; legal challenge to petition. [Effective January 1, 2020.]

RESIGNATIONS DURING PROCEEDINGS FOR RECALL

NRS 306.045           Effect of resignation by public officer subject to proceedings for recall.

SPECIAL ELECTIONS FOR RECALL

NRS 306.060           Ballots for special election: Printing ballots when public officer fails to furnish justification for course in office; printing reason for demanding recall and public officer’s justification on sample ballots when mechanical voting system used.

NRS 306.070           Ballots for special election: Form of ballots when no other candidates nominated; form of ballots when other candidates nominated; conformity of ballots with other laws governing elections.

NRS 306.080           Vacancy in office created upon recall of public officer if no other candidates nominated for special election.

NRS 306.110           Petition to nominate other candidates for special election; required contents of petition; eligibility to sign petition; filing petition for signature verification; filing declaration of candidacy.

NRS 306.120           Conduct of special election.

NRS 306.130           Applicability of other laws governing elections.

UNLAWFUL ACTS AND PENALTIES

NRS 306.200           Civil penalties for violations of chapter; joint and several liability for imposed penalties; deposit of collected penalties.

NRS 306.210           Unlawful acts involving petition for recall; criminal penalties.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 306.005  Informational pamphlet describing requirements of chapter; fee.

      1.  The Secretary of State shall prepare an informational pamphlet describing the requirements for filing and circulating a petition to recall a public officer pursuant to this chapter. The pamphlet must include:

      (a) A copy of Section 9 of Article 2 of the Constitution of the State of Nevada;

      (b) A copy of chapter 306 of NRS and any regulations adopted pursuant to that chapter;

      (c) A copy of all other relevant provisions of NRS;

      (d) A sample petition to demonstrate an acceptable format for such a petition; and

      (e) Such other information as the Secretary of State deems necessary.

      2.  A copy of the pamphlet must be distributed to any person who requests such information upon payment of any applicable fee. The Secretary of State may charge a fee for the pamphlet which must not exceed the cost of preparing and printing the pamphlet.

      (Added to NRS by 1993, 2406)

      NRS 306.011  Regulations.  The Secretary of State shall adopt such regulations as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1993, 2407)

PETITIONS FOR RECALL

      NRS 306.015  Contents and filing of notice of intent to circulate petition; circulation of petition for signatures; submission of petition to filing officer within prescribed periods; penalty for failure to submit petition as required; submission of petition to county clerk for signature verification; procedure for removing name from petition before completion of signature verification.

      1.  Before a petition to recall a public officer is circulated, the persons proposing to circulate the petition must file a notice of intent with the filing officer with whom the public officer filed his or her declaration of candidacy.

      2.  The notice of intent:

      (a) Must be signed by:

             (1) If the public officer holds a statewide office, three registered voters who actually:

                   (I) Voted in this State at the election at which the public officer was elected; and

                   (II) Reside in this State on the date that the notice of intent is filed with the filing officer.

             (2) If the public officer does not hold a statewide office, three registered voters who actually:

                   (I) Voted in the county, district or municipality that the public officer represents at the election at which the public officer was elected; and

                    (II) Reside in the county, district or municipality that the public officer represents on the date that the notice of intent is filed with the filing officer.

      (b) Must be signed before a person authorized by law to administer oaths that the statements and signatures contained in the notice are true.

      (c) Is valid until the date on which the call for a special election is issued, as set forth in NRS 306.040.

      3.  The petition may consist of more than one document and must be circulated for signatures and submitted to the filing officer in accordance with this subsection. The persons filing the notice of intent shall submit to the filing officer:

      (a) On or before the 48th day after the date on which the notice of intent was filed, all signatures that were collected on the petition during the period beginning on the date on which the notice of intent was filed and ending on the 45th day after the date on which the notice of intent was filed. If any such signature is not timely submitted to the filing officer pursuant to this paragraph, it shall be deemed that the signature is not a valid signature.

      (b) On or before the 90th day after the date on which the notice of intent was filed, all signatures that were collected on the petition during the period beginning on the 46th day after the date on which the notice of intent was filed and ending on the date of submission of the petition to the filing officer for signature verification pursuant to this paragraph. The circulation of the petition must cease on the date of submission of the petition to the filing officer for signature verification pursuant to this paragraph or on the 90th day after the date on which the notice of intent was filed, whichever occurs first. If the persons filing the notice of intent timely submit the petition to the filing officer for signature verification pursuant to this paragraph and comply with the provisions of NRS 306.016, the filing officer shall immediately submit the petition to the county clerk for the verification pursuant to NRS 306.035 of the signatures that were collected on the petition and timely submitted to the filing officer pursuant to this subsection.

      4.  Any person who fails to submit the petition to the filing officer as required by subsection 3 is guilty of a misdemeanor. Copies of the petition are not valid for any subsequent petition.

      5.  The county clerk shall, upon completing the verification of the signatures on the petition pursuant to NRS 306.035, file the petition with the filing officer.

      6.  Any person who signs a petition to recall any public officer may request that the county clerk remove the person’s name from the petition by submitting a request in writing to the county clerk at any time before the verification of the signatures thereon is completed.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 1166; A 1985, 1219; 1991, 2214, 2226; 1993, 614, 2407; 1995, 2793; 1997, 766, 3473; 1999, 3562; 2001, 649, 1347, 2969; 2003, 200, 210; 2019, 1655, 3407)

      NRS 306.016  Certain persons required to pay costs of signature verification; exceptions; civil action to recover costs; joint and several liability for costs; regulations.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2:

      (a) If the persons filing a notice of intent to circulate a petition for the recall of a public officer submit the petition to the filing officer for signature verification pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection 3 of NRS 306.015, the filing officer shall not submit the petition to the county clerk for signature verification pursuant to NRS 306.035, unless the persons filing the notice of intent deposit in advance the estimated costs of the signature verification with the filing officer, including, without limitation, the estimated costs for the Secretary of State and the county clerk of each county from which signatures on the petition were gathered to perform the requirements set forth in NRS 293.1276 to 293.1279, inclusive.

      (b) Upon completion of the verification of signatures, the Secretary of State and each county clerk who verified signatures on the petition shall submit to the filing officer a statement of the actual costs incurred for carrying out the provisions of NRS 293.1276 to 293.1279, inclusive.

      (c) If the sum deposited pursuant to paragraph (a) is:

             (1) In excess of the actual costs of the signature verification, the excess must be refunded to the persons filing the notice of intent who submitted the petition for signature verification.

             (2) Less than the actual costs of the signature verification, the persons filing the notice of intent who submitted the petition for signature verification shall, upon demand, pay the deficiency to the filing officer who shall distribute the money to the Secretary of State and county clerks, as applicable.

      2.  The provisions of subsection 1 do not apply if, at the time of submitting the petition to the filing officer for signature verification, the persons filing the notice of intent also submit to the filing officer a written declaration, signed by each person under penalty of perjury, that:

      (a) Paying the costs of the signature verification would cause the persons filing the notice of intent an undue burden on the monetary resources reasonably available to them; and

      (b) No person was paid to circulate the petition for signatures, or was promised to be paid or will be paid for having circulated the petition for signatures, by the persons filing the notice of intent or, to the best of their knowledge and belief, by any other person, including, without limitation, any committee for the recall of a public officer as defined in NRS 294A.006.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, if the persons filing the notice of intent sign and submit a written declaration pursuant to subsection 2, the filing officer shall submit the petition to the county clerk for signature verification pursuant to NRS 306.035, and the persons filing the notice of intent must not be held liable for paying the costs of the signature verification.

      4.  In addition to any criminal or civil penalty, if the persons filing the notice of intent sign and submit a written declaration pursuant to subsection 2 and the written declaration contains any false statement of material fact, the Secretary of State and county clerks may bring a civil action to recover the actual costs of the signature verification against each person who signed the written declaration, and each person who signed the written declaration is jointly and severally liable for the actual costs of the signature verification.

      5.  The Secretary of State shall adopt regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, including, without limitation, defining the term “costs” for purposes of this section.

      (Added to NRS by 2019, 1654)

      NRS 306.017  Employment by filing officer of independent legal counsel to provide advice concerning recall of public officer who is legal adviser.  If a notice of intent to circulate a petition to recall any public officer who is a legal adviser for the State or for a county, district or municipality is filed, the officer with whom the notice is filed may employ independent legal counsel to provide advice concerning the recall, at the expense of the State or the county, district or municipality electing that public officer.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1114)

      NRS 306.020  Public officers subject to recall; eligibility to sign petition; required contents of petition.

      1.  Every public officer in the State of Nevada is subject to recall from office by the registered voters of the State or of the county, district or municipality that the public officer represents, as provided in this chapter and Section 9 of Article 2 of the Constitution of the State of Nevada.

      2.  A public officer who is appointed to serve the remainder of the unexpired term of an elective office:

      (a) Is subject to recall in the same manner as provided for a public officer elected to that office; and

      (b) For the purposes of recall, shall be deemed to have been elected to that office at the same election at which the former elected officeholder or candidate was elected before the vacancy in that office.

      3.  The petition to recall a public officer may be signed by any registered voter of the State or of the county, district, municipality or portion thereof that the public officer represents who actually voted in the election at which the public officer was elected.

      4.  The petition must:

      (a) Set forth the reason why the recall is demanded, which must appear on each signature page of the petition;

      (b) Contain the residence addresses of the signers and the date that the petition was signed;

      (c) Contain a statement of the minimum number of signatures necessary to the validity of the petition;

      (d) Contain at the top of each page and immediately above the signature line, in at least 10-point bold type, the words “Recall Petition”;

      (e) Include the date that a notice of intent was filed; and

      (f) Have the designation: “Signatures of registered voters seeking the recall of ................ (name of public officer for whom recall is sought)” on each page if the petition contains more than one page.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 282; A 1963, 1385; 1969, 197; 1971, 159; 1975, 1166; 1981, 22; 1987, 698; 1989, 1062; 2009, 168; 2015, 1884; 2019, 1657)

      NRS 306.025  Misrepresenting intent or content of petition for recall prohibited; penalty.  [Replaced in revision by NRS 306.210.]

 

      NRS 306.030  Petition may consist of number of copies; each page must meet certain requirements; each copy must be verified by circulator.

      1.  The petition may consist of any number of copies which are identical in form with the original, except for the name of the county and the signatures and addresses of the residences of the signers. The pages of the petition with the signatures and of any copy must be consecutively numbered. Each page must bear the name of a county, and only registered voters of that county may sign the page.

      2.  Every copy must be verified by the circulator thereof, who shall swear or affirm, before a person authorized by law to administer oaths, that the statements and signatures contained in the petition are true to the best of the circulator’s knowledge and belief. The verification must also contain a statement of the number of signatures being verified by the circulator.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 282; A 1963, 1386; 1975, 1167; 1985, 1219; 1987, 1375; 1993, 2408; 2003, 1713)

      NRS 306.035  Signature verification by county clerk; all documents must be submitted to county clerk at same time.

      1.  Before a petition to recall a public officer who holds a statewide office is filed with the Secretary of State as the filing officer pursuant to subsection 5 of NRS 306.015, each county clerk must verify, pursuant to NRS 293.1276 to 293.1279, inclusive, the document or documents which were circulated for signature within the clerk’s county.

      2.  Before a petition to recall a public officer who does not hold a statewide office is filed with the filing officer pursuant to subsection 5 of NRS 306.015, the county clerk must verify, pursuant to NRS 293.1276 to 293.1279, inclusive, the document or documents which were circulated for signatures within the clerk’s county.

      3.  If more than one document was circulated, all the documents must be submitted to the clerk at the same time.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1114; A 1987, 1376; 1999, 3563; 2019, 1658)

      NRS 306.040  Notification that number of signatures is sufficient; procedure for striking name from petition within certain time after completion of signature verification; issuance of call for special election; legal challenge to petition. [Effective through December 31, 2019.]

      1.  Upon determining that the number of signatures on a petition to recall is sufficient pursuant to NRS 293.1276 to 293.1279, inclusive, the Secretary of State shall notify the county clerk, the filing officer and the public officer who is the subject of the petition.

      2.  A person who signs a petition to recall may request the filing officer to strike the person’s name from the petition on or before the date that is the later of:

      (a) Ten days, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays excluded, after the verification of signatures is complete; or

      (b) The date a complaint is filed pursuant to subsection 6.

      3.  If the filing officer receives a request pursuant to subsection 2, the filing officer must strike the name of the person from the petition. If the filing officer receives a sufficient number of requests to strike names from the petition such that the petition no longer contains enough valid signatures, the filing officer shall not issue a call for a special election, and a special election must not be held to recall the public officer who is the subject of the petition.

      4.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, not sooner than 20 days and not later than 30 days, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays excluded, after the Secretary of State completes the notification required by subsection 1, if a complaint is not filed pursuant to subsection 6, the filing officer shall issue a call for a special election in the jurisdiction in which the public officer who is the subject of the petition was elected to determine whether the people will recall the public officer.

      5.  The call for a special election pursuant to subsection 4 or 7 must include, without limitation:

      (a) The last day on which a person may register to vote to qualify to vote in the special election;

      (b) The last day on which a petition to nominate other candidates for the office may be filed; and

      (c) Whether any person is entitled to vote in the special election pursuant to NRS 293.343 to 293.355, inclusive.

      6.  The legal sufficiency of the petition, including without limitation, the validity of signatures on the petition, may be challenged by filing a complaint in district court not later than 15 days, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays excluded, after the Secretary of State completes the notification required by subsection 1. All affidavits and documents in support of the challenge must be filed with the complaint. The court shall set the matter for hearing not later than 30 days after the complaint is filed and shall give priority to such a complaint over all other matters pending with the court, except for criminal proceedings.

      7.  Upon the conclusion of the hearing, if the court determines that the petition is legally sufficient, it shall order the filing officer to issue a call for a special election in the jurisdiction in which the public officer who is the subject of the petition was elected to determine whether the people will recall the public officer. If the court determines that the petition is not legally sufficient, it shall order the filing officer to cease any further proceedings regarding the petition.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 282; A 1963, 1386; 1981, 23; 1985, 1115; 1987, 698, 1376; 1991, 2215; 1993, 2408; 1997, 767; 1999, 3563; 2001, 650; 2011, 2123; 2019, 1658)

      NRS 306.040  Notification that number of signatures is sufficient; procedure for striking name from petition within certain time after completion of signature verification; issuance of call for special election; legal challenge to petition. [Effective January 1, 2020.]

      1.  Upon determining that the number of signatures on a petition to recall is sufficient pursuant to NRS 293.1276 to 293.1279, inclusive, the Secretary of State shall notify the county clerk, the filing officer and the public officer who is the subject of the petition.

      2.  A person who signs a petition to recall may request the filing officer to strike the person’s name from the petition on or before the date that is the later of:

      (a) Ten days, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays excluded, after the verification of signatures is complete; or

      (b) The date a complaint is filed pursuant to subsection 6.

      3.  If the filing officer receives a request pursuant to subsection 2, the filing officer must strike the name of the person from the petition. If the filing officer receives a sufficient number of requests to strike names from the petition such that the petition no longer contains enough valid signatures, the filing officer shall not issue a call for a special election, and a special election must not be held to recall the public officer who is the subject of the petition.

      4.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, not sooner than 20 days and not later than 30 days, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays excluded, after the Secretary of State completes the notification required by subsection 1, if a complaint is not filed pursuant to subsection 6, the filing officer shall issue a call for a special election in the jurisdiction in which the public officer who is the subject of the petition was elected to determine whether the people will recall the public officer.

      5.  The call for a special election pursuant to subsection 4 or 7 must include, without limitation:

      (a) The last day on which a person may register to vote in order to qualify to vote in the special election pursuant to NRS 293.560 or 293C.527;

      (b) The last day on which a petition to nominate other candidates for the office may be filed; and

      (c) Whether any person is entitled to vote in the special election in a mailing precinct or an absent ballot mailing precinct pursuant to NRS 293.343 to 293.355, inclusive, or 293C.345 to 293C.352, inclusive.

      6.  The legal sufficiency of the petition, including without limitation, the validity of signatures on the petition, may be challenged by filing a complaint in district court not later than 15 days, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays excluded, after the Secretary of State completes the notification required by subsection 1. All affidavits and documents in support of the challenge must be filed with the complaint. The court shall set the matter for hearing not later than 30 days after the complaint is filed and shall give priority to such a complaint over all other matters pending with the court, except for criminal proceedings.

      7.  Upon the conclusion of the hearing, if the court determines that the petition is legally sufficient, it shall order the filing officer to issue a call for a special election in the jurisdiction in which the public officer who is the subject of the petition was elected to determine whether the people will recall the public officer. If the court determines that the petition is not legally sufficient, it shall order the filing officer to cease any further proceedings regarding the petition.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 282; A 1963, 1386; 1981, 23; 1985, 1115; 1987, 698, 1376; 1991, 2215; 1993, 2408; 1997, 767; 1999, 3563; 2001, 650; 2011, 2123; 2019, 1658, 4125, effective January 1, 2020)

RESIGNATIONS DURING PROCEEDINGS FOR RECALL

      NRS 306.045  Effect of resignation by public officer subject to proceedings for recall.  If a public officer who is subject to a recall petition resigns his or her office:

      1.  Before the call for a special election is issued:

      (a) The official with whom the petition to recall is filed shall cease any further proceedings regarding the petition;

      (b) A vacancy occurs in that office; and

      (c) The vacancy thereby created must be filled in the manner provided by law.

      2.  After the call for a special election is issued, the special election must be conducted.

      (Added to NRS by 1999, 2169)

SPECIAL ELECTIONS FOR RECALL

      NRS 306.060  Ballots for special election: Printing ballots when public officer fails to furnish justification for course in office; printing reason for demanding recall and public officer’s justification on sample ballots when mechanical voting system used.

      1.  If the officer against whom the petition is filed furnishes no justification of the officer’s course in office, none need appear on the ballot at the election upon the officer’s recall.

      2.  Where a mechanical voting system is used, the reason for demanding the recall of the officer and the officer’s justification need not be printed on the ballot, but must be printed on sample ballots, which must be presented to registered voters upon their application to vote.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 282; A 1977, 248; 1981, 23; 1985, 1115; 1997, 767)

      NRS 306.070  Ballots for special election: Form of ballots when no other candidates nominated; form of ballots when other candidates nominated; conformity of ballots with other laws governing elections.

      1.  If there are no other candidates nominated to be voted for at the special election, there must be printed on the ballot the name of the officer sought to be recalled, the office which he or she holds, and the words “For Recall” and “Against Recall.”

      2.  If there are other candidates nominated for the office to be voted for at the special election, there must be printed upon the ballot the name of the officer sought to be recalled, and the office which he or she holds, and the name or names of such other candidates as may be nominated to be voted for at the special election, and the words “For Recall” and “Against Recall” must be omitted.

      3.  In other respects the ballot must conform with the requirements of this title.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 283; A 1977, 248; 1985, 1115)

      NRS 306.080  Vacancy in office created upon recall of public officer if no other candidates nominated for special election.  If any officer is recalled upon a special election and other candidates are not nominated to be voted for at the special election, the vacancy thereby created must be filled in the manner provided by law.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 283; A 1981, 23)

      NRS 306.110  Petition to nominate other candidates for special election; required contents of petition; eligibility to sign petition; filing petition for signature verification; filing declaration of candidacy.

      1.  A petition to nominate other candidates for the office must be signed by registered voters of the State, or of the county, district or municipality holding the election, equal in number to 25 percent of the number of registered voters who voted in the State, or in the county, district or municipality holding the election, at the general election at which the public officer was elected. Each petition may consist of more than one document. Each document must bear the name of one county and must not be signed by a person who is not a registered voter of that county.

      2.  The nominating petition must be filed, at least 20 days before the date of the special election, with the filing officer with whom the recall petition is filed. Each document of the petition must be submitted for verification pursuant to NRS 293.1276 to 293.1279, inclusive, to the county clerk of the county named on the document.

      3.  A candidate who is nominated for office pursuant to this section must file a declaration of candidacy with the appropriate filing officer and pay the filing fee required by NRS 293.193 or by the governing body of a city at least 20 days before the date of the special election.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 283; A 1971, 160; 1981, 24; 1991, 2227; 1993, 2409; 1997, 3473; 1999, 2169; 2019, 3408)

      NRS 306.120  Conduct of special election.  Any special election must be conducted pursuant to the provisions of:

      1.  Chapter 293 of NRS for primary and general elections.

      2.  Chapter 293C of NRS for primary city elections and general city elections.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 283; A 1997, 3474)

      NRS 306.130  Applicability of other laws governing elections.  The general election laws of this State, so far as applicable, shall apply to all elections held under this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1960, 284)

UNLAWFUL ACTS AND PENALTIES

      NRS 306.200  Civil penalties for violations of chapter; joint and several liability for imposed penalties; deposit of collected penalties.

      1.  In addition to any criminal penalty, a person who violates the provisions of this chapter is subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $20,000 for each violation. This penalty must be recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the State of Nevada by the Attorney General or by any district attorney in a court of competent jurisdiction.

      2.  Each person who signs a notice of intent to circulate a petition for the recall of a public officer is jointly and severally liable for any civil penalty imposed pursuant to this section in relation to the petition for recall.

      3.  Any civil penalty collected pursuant to this section must be deposited by the collecting agency for credit to the State General Fund in the bank designated by the State Treasurer.

      (Added to NRS by 2019, 1655)

      NRS 306.210  Unlawful acts involving petition for recall; criminal penalties.

      1.  A person shall not knowingly or under circumstances amounting to criminal negligence:

      (a) Misrepresent, attempt to misrepresent or assist or conspire with another person to misrepresent or attempt to misrepresent the intent or content of a petition for the recall of a public officer which is circulated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; or

      (b) Obtain, attempt to obtain or assist or conspire with another person to obtain or attempt to obtain a false, forged or unauthorized signature on a petition for the recall of a public officer which is circulated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

      2.  Any person who violates the provisions of subsection 1 is guilty of a category E felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 1062; A 2019, 1657) — (Substituted in revision for NRS 306.025)