Recall fails against select board member in Reading, Massachusetts

On September 1, a recall election was held for Reading Select Board Member Vanessa Alvarado in Massachusetts. Unofficial results showed that the recall election was unsuccessful, with 5,641 votes against the recall to 3,831 votes in favor of the recall. Results will become official after they are certified by town officials.

The recall effort against Alvarado began in February 2020 and was based on allegations that Alvarado impeded the hiring of a new police chief in her role as board chair. Alvarado denied the allegations, arguing that she was trying to provide open, public discussion about the police chief’s appointment and did nothing to violate the town charter.

Petitioners were required to obtain 2,000 signatures from Reading’s registered voters in order to put the recall on the ballot. In March 2020, Reading’s board of registrars certified 2,239 signatures.

Because the recall election was unsuccessful, Alvarado will retain her position on the Reading Select Board. She is serving the final year of her three-year term and is eligible to run for re-election in April 2021.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

Additional reading
Recall campaigns in Massachusetts
Political recall efforts, 2020
City council recalls