Header Home
Skip Navigation Links
Home
About Us
Contact Us
Maps
Links
FAQs
Employment
Skip Navigation Links
For VotersExpand For Voters
For Candidates / PartiesExpand For Candidates / Parties
For Poll WorkersExpand For Poll Workers
For MediaExpand For Media
For Political SubdivisionsExpand For Political Subdivisions
ServicesExpand Services
 
Find Your
Voting Information
House #:
Zip Code:

Recall Procedures

Certain elected officials are subject to being recalled. The process to recall an elected official begins with a principal circulator gathering petition signatures. The principal circulator then has 30 days to gather enough signatures. The Election Commission then determines whether or not a sufficient number of signatures were gathered. If enough signatures were collected, a recall election may be held.

If the recall election is successful, the elected official must resign and a replacement must be found, either by appointment or by special election. If the recall election is unsuccessful, the elected official retains his or her position and cannot be subject to another recall attempt for at least 12 months.

Please note that all deadlines in the recall section are calendar days, not business days.

Summary of Recall Process

Recall Process

  • Voter (Principal Circulator) from the district where the elected official being recalled is from completes a Recall Affidavit with the reason for the recall
  • Elected official may submit a defense statement
  • Election Commission prepares the recall petition pages
  • Circulator gathers petition signatures
  • Election Commission verifies the signatures to determine if sufficient signatures were gathered
  • If enough signatures are gathered, the elected official is given the choice to resign
  • If the elected official does not resign, a special recall election is held
  • If the recall election is successful (simple majority voting in favor of recall), then the elected official is removed from office
  • The governing body of the political subdivision of the recalled official then votes to name a new member to replace the recalled official
  • If the Omaha Mayor is recalled within the first two years of his or her term, then a special replacement election is held
  • If no candidate receives 50% or more of the vote, a special runoff election will be held with the two candidates who received the most votes in the special replacement election

Timeline

  • Circulator starts process
  • Election Commission has 5 days to notify the elected official that he or she is being recalled
  • Elected official has 20 days to submit defense statement
  • Election Commission has 5 days to prepare the petition pages
  • Circulator has 30 days from the date he or she picks up the petition pages to gather the required number of signatures
  • Election Commission has 15 days to verify if sufficient signatures have been gathered
  • If sufficient signatures have been gathered, the elected official has the option to resign prior to the election
  • The Election Commission will notify the governing body of the political subdivision of the elected official, and they will schedule a recall election to be held within 30 - 75 days
  • If a simple majority of voters vote in favor of a recall, and the election is certified as official, the elected official is removed from office immediately
  • The governing body of the political subdivision of the recalled official then votes to name a new member to replace the recalled official
  • If the Omaha Mayor is recalled within the first two years of his or her term, a special replacement election will be held within 90 - 150 days
  • If no candidate receives 50% or more of the vote, a special runoff election will be held as directed by the Omaha City Council
Back To Top

Recall of an Elected Official

An elected official can be recalled; however, the recall process cannot be initiated until after the first six months of his or her term of office, nor can it occur within six months of the incumbent filing deadline. If a recall election has previously failed to remove an elected official, another recall effort cannot be initiated for another twelve months.

Back To Top

Elected Officials Eligible for Recall

  • City Council Members and Mayors of Omaha, Bennington, Ralston, and Valley
  • Waterloo Village Board of Trustees
  • Douglas County Assessor, Attorney, Clerk, Clerk of the District Court, Commissioners, Engineer, Public Defender, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, and Treasurer
  • School Board Members
  • Metropolitan Utilities District Board Members
  • Natural Resources District Board Members
  • Omaha Public Power District Board Members
  • Metropolitan Community College Board Members
  • Educational Service Unit Board Members
Back To Top

Principal Circulator

  • Principal circulator is a registered voter within the political district who files the affidavit.
  • The principal circulator must be a registered voter who lives in the same political district as the official he or she is attempting to recall.
Back To Top

Circulator Requirements

  • Each circulator must witness every signature and sign the circulator's affidavit once the petition page is completed.
  • A circulator must be a qualified elector (meet the qualifications to be a registered voter) in the State of Nebraska.
  • Circulators can be paid or voluntary.
  • Each petition page must denote the type of circulator gathering signatures (Paid or Voluntary).
  • No circulator may pay money or offer anything of value in exchange for signing a petition.
Back To Top

Affidavit

  • At least one registered voter of the political district must complete, sign, and file a Recall Affidavit Principal Circulator Form with the Election Commission.
  • Contents of Affidavit
  • Name and address of principal circulator
  • Home and work phone of principal circulator
  • First and last name of the elected official sought to be removed
  • Office currently held by elected official
  • A typewritten statement, 60 words or less, explaining the reason(s) for which the recall is sought
  • Requested number of petition pages
  • Principal circulator's notarized signature
Back To Top

Defense Statement

After the principal circulator completes the Recall Affidavit, the Election Commission notifies the elected official that the recall process has begun. The elected official then has 20 days to provide a defense statement explaining in 60 words or less why he or she should not be recalled. Once the Election Commission receives the defense statement, or the 20 day time period has expired, the petition pages with the recall statement and defense statement (if submitted) will be created.

Back To Top

Petition

  • Principal circulator has 20 days from the Election Commission receiving the defense statement to pick up the petition pages.
  • Principal circulator has 30 days, from the date the petition pages were issued, to gather and submit signatures to the Election Commission.
  • Qualified Petition Signers
  • The petition signers must be registered voters of the same political district as the elected official whose recall is being sought.
  • Required Number of Signatures
  • If one candidate was elected in the last general election and the political subdivision is not a village, then the number of signatures required must be at least 35 percent of the number of votes cast in the most recent general election for that office.
  • If more than one candidate was elected in the last general election and the political subdivision is not a village, then the number of signatures required must be at least 35 percent of the number of votes cast in the most recent general election for the person receiving the most votes for that office.
  • If the political subdivision is a village, then the number of signatures required must be at least 45 percent of the number of votes cast in the most recent general election for the person receiving the most votes for that office.
Back To Top

Signature Verification

  • The Election Commission has 15 days to determine whether there are a sufficient number of signatures to hold a recall election.
  • If there are sufficient signatures, the elected official has five days after receiving notice from the Election Commission to resign from office, otherwise a recall election will be held.
  • If there are not sufficient signatures to force a recall election, the elected official will remain in office; however, another recall petition may be filed as long as all other requirements are met.
Back To Top

Recall Election

  • If a recall election needs to be held, it will be scheduled to occur between 30 and 75 days after the elected official has been notified that sufficient signatures have been gathered.
  • If the political subdivision already has an election scheduled to occur within 90 days after the elected official has been notified, then the recall election will be held in conjunction with the previously scheduled election.
  • If the elected official whose recall is sought resigns before the recall election is held, the political subdivision may cancel the recall election if they notify the Election Commission of the cancellation at least 16 days prior to the election, otherwise, the recall election will be held as scheduled.
Back To Top

Recall Election Results

  • If the majority of votes are not in favor of recall, or the vote is tied, the elected official will remain in office until the end of his or her term (unless another recall attempt is successful in the future). Another recall attempt cannot be made for at least another 12 months after the recall election.
  • If the majority of votes are in favor of recall, the elected official will be removed from office immediately following certification of the election unless the margin is equal to one percent or less. If the margin is equal to one percent or less, an automatic recount will be conducted following the certification of the election by the Election Commission unless the candidate states he or she does not wish the recount to take place. If the results of the recount do not change the outcome or the recount does not take place, then the elected official will be removed from office immediately following the recount certification.
  • If there are vacancies in the offices of one-half or more of the members of any governing body at one time due to the recall of such members, a special election to fill such vacancies shall be conducted by the Election Commission as quickly as possible.
  • The elected official who resigned or was recalled cannot be appointed to the political subdivision during the remainder of the vacated term.
Back To Top

Successful Recall Election

If the recall election is successful, the elected official is removed from office immediately following the election certification. The political subdivision is then required to appoint an eligible replacement to fill the vacated office.

  • The recalled official cannot be appointed by the political subdivision after he or she has been recalled.
  • If the Mayor of Omaha is recalled within the first two years of his or her term:
  • The City Council, by a majority of votes, will elect an interim mayor within 30 days of being notified of the vacancy. The City Council President will serve as Acting Mayor until an interim mayor is selected.
  • A member of the City Council may be elected as the interim mayor and maintain his or her city council seat.
  • A qualified registered voter within the City of Omaha may also be elected by the City Council to serve as the interim mayor.
  • The interim mayor will serve until a new mayor is elected via a special City of Omaha Election.
  • The City Council will schedule a City of Omaha Special Election to elect a new mayor.
  • If there is already a county-wide election scheduled to occur between 90 and 150 days after notification of the vacancy, then the special election will be held in conjunction with the previously scheduled election.
  • If there is no previously scheduled county-wide election, the City Council will designate a date to hold the special election between 90 and 150 days from the notice of the vacancy.
  • A qualified candidate will be chosen by Omaha voters at the special election to serve as the new mayor.
  • A City Council member elected to be the new mayor shall not continue as a member of the City Council.
  • If the candidate receives more than 50% of the vote during the special election, that candidate shall be elected as Mayor for the remainder of the unexpired term.
  • If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote during the special election, then the top two candidates shall be the only candidates whose names are printed on the ballot at a special runoff election held on a date designated by the City Council.
  • If the Mayor of Omaha is recalled during his or her last two years of office:
  • The City Council, by a majority of votes, will elect a new mayor within 30 days of being notified of the vacancy. The City Council President will serve as Acting Mayor until a new mayor is selected.
  • A member of the City Council may be elected as the new mayor.
  • A City Council member elected to be the new mayor shall not continue as a member of the City Council.
  • A qualified registered voter within the City of Omaha may also be elected by the City Council to serve as the new mayor.
Back To Top
 
Douglas County Election Commission  •  225 North 115th Street, Omaha 68154  •  Phone (402) 444 - VOTE (8683)  •  Fax (402) 444 - 4181
For Voters For Candidates / Parties
For Poll Workers
For Media
For Political Subdivisions
Services