Recall efforts targeting local officials in Michigan, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wisconsin topped Ballotpedia’s list of notable recall efforts in 2018. Ballotpedia covered a total of 206 recall efforts against 299 officials this year. Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 77 were recalled and 46 survived the attempt. This year’s recall efforts had a success rate of 63 percent. Recall efforts in 2016 and 2017 both had a success rate of 56 percent, in comparison. City council officials and school board members drew the most recall petitions in 2018. A total of 93 city council officials and 74 school board members were targeted for recall in 2018.
For the first time in three years, a state other than California held the highest number of recall efforts in 2018. Michigan took over the top spot with 65 recall efforts. California (61) and Arizona (27) were second and third in total recall efforts.
The report’s notable recalls included efforts targeting two school boards, four township officials, and two county officials. An example of those efforts was in Saugatuck Township, Michigan. Town Clerk Brad Rudich, Town Treasurer Lori Babinski, Town Trustee Douglas Lane, and Town Trustee Roy McIlwaine were targeted for recall due to their vote to reprimand Township Manager Aaron Sheridan instead of removing him. Another township supervisor, Jon Phillips, had accused Sheridan of threatening behavior involving public officials, abusive language, and indecent conduct. Phillips motioned to have Sheridan dismissed as manager, but no other board members seconded the motion. The board then unanimously approved a motion to reprimand Sheridan and include that reprimand in his permanent personnel file. Rudich, Babinski, Lane, and McIlwaine were all successfully recalled.