Ballotpedia tracked recall efforts against 932 officials in California from 2010 through October 3, 2023, the most of any state and 19.18% of all tracked. Michigan came in second with 902 (18.56%). The third-highest number of officials included in recall efforts was in Colorado with 336 (6.91%).
Michigan was leading with the most officials included in recall efforts for 2023 as of October 3 with 126. California was second with 39, and Colorado was third with 28.
The map below shows the total number of officials targeted for recall in each state from 2010 to October 3, 2023. Ballotpedia did not track any recall efforts in the states shown in gray.
A political recall is the process by which citizens can remove elected officials from office before their term is completed. This process typically includes the circulation of petitions by recall organizers, the evaluation of signatures by election officials, and a public vote if the petitions are deemed to have a sufficient number of valid signatures. The details of the recall process vary from state to state. Click here to learn about the laws governing recalls in each state.
When looking at office type from 2010 to October 3, 2023, city council members had the most recall petitions filed against them each year with the exception of 2021, when school board members had the most. School board members had the second-most recall petitions filed against them every year except 2021, when they had the most, and 2017, when they had the third-most after city council members and mayors.
From 2010 to 2022, Ballotpedia covered an average of 211 recall efforts against an average of 347 officials per year. Those recalls saw a 16.44% success rate. The success rate was calculated by dividing the number of recalled officials by the number of officials who were targeted for recall. The highest success rate happened in 2011 when 83 of the 307 officials targeted for recall were removed from office in a recall election, a success rate of 27.04%. The lowest success rate happened in 2021 when 25 of the 545 officials targeted for recall were removed from office in a recall election, a success rate of 4.59%.
In 2023, as of October 3, Ballotpedia had tracked 239 recall efforts against 350 officials. As of that time, 33 of the officials targeted for recall had been removed from office in a recall election, a success rate of 9.43%. Another 41 recall elections had been scheduled but not yet held.
The chart below shows how many officials were included in recall efforts and how many were removed from office in recall elections from 2010 to October 3, 2023.