Law:Division 11. Recall Elections (California)

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Contents

Chapter 1. General Procedures: General Provisions And Initial Steps In The Recall

Article 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (elec:11000-11007) Elections Code Section 11000-11007



11000. This division governs the recall of elective officers of the State of California and of all counties, cities, school districts, county boards of education, community college districts, special districts, and judges of courts of appeal and trial courts. It does not supersede the provisions of a city charter or county charter, or of ordinances adopted pursuant to a city charter or county charter, relating to recall.


11001. For the purposes of this division, judges of courts of appeal shall be considered state officers, and judges of trial courts shall be considered county officers.


11002. For the purposes of this division, "elections official" means one of the following: (a) A county elections official in the case of the recall of elective officers of a county, school district, county board of education, community college district, or resident voting district, and of judges of trial courts. (b) A city elections official, including, but not necessarily limited to, a city clerk, in the case of the recall of elective officers of a city. (c) The secretary of the governing board in the case of the recall of elective officers of a landowner voting district or any district in which, at a regular election, candidate's nomination papers are filed with the secretary of the governing board.


11003. For the purposes of this division, "governing board" means a city council, the board of supervisors of a county, the board of trustees of a school district or community college district, or the legislative body of a special district, as the context requires. In the case of the recall of a trial court judge, "governing board" means the board of supervisors.


11004. For the purposes of this division, a "local officer" is an elective officer of a city, county, school district, community college district, or special district, or a judge of a trial court.


11005. The proponents of a recall must be registered voters of the electoral jurisdiction of the officer they seek to recall.


11006. Proceedings may be commenced for the recall of any elective officer, including any officer appointed in lieu of election or to fill a vacancy, by the service, filing and publication or posting of a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition pursuant to this chapter.

11007. Except when a person has been appointed to office pursuant to Section 10229 because no person had been nominated to office, proceedings may not be commenced against an officer of a city, county, special district, school district, community college district, or county board of education in the event of one or more of any of the following: (a) He or she has not held office during his current term for more than 90 days. (b) A recall election has been determined in his or her favor within the last six months. (c) His or her term of office ends within six months or less.


Article 2. The Notice Of Intention, Statement, And Answer

Ca Codes (elec:11020-11024) Elections Code Section 11020-11024



11020. The notice of intention shall contain all of the following: (a) The name and title of the officer sought to be recalled. (b) A statement, not exceeding 200 words in length, of the reasons for the proposed recall. (c) The printed name, signature, and residence address of each of the proponents of the recall. If a proponent cannot receive mail at the residence address, he or she must provide an alternative mailing address. The minimum number of proponents is 10, or equal to the number of signatures required to have been filed on the nomination paper of the officer sought to be recalled, whichever is higher. (d) The provisions of Section 11023.


11021. A copy of the notice of intention shall be served by personal delivery, or by certified mail, on the officer sought to be recalled. Within seven days of serving the notice of intention, the original thereof shall be filed, along with an affidavit of the time and manner of service, with the elections official or, in the case of the recall of a state officer, the Secretary of State. A separate notice of intention shall be filed for each officer sought to be recalled.

11022. A copy of the notice, except the provisions required by subdivision (d) of Section 11020, shall be published at the proponents' expense pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code. Publication shall be required unless there is no newspaper of general circulation able to provide timely publication in the jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled. If this publication is not possible, the notice, except the provisions required by subdivision (d) of Section 11020, shall be posted in at least three public places within the jurisdiction of the officer to be recalled.


11023. (a) Within seven days after the filing of the notice of intention, the officer sought to be recalled may file with the elections official, or in the case of a state officer, the Secretary of State, an answer, in not more than 200 words, to the statement of the proponents. (b) If an answer is filed, the officer shall, within seven days after the filing of the notice of intention, also serve a copy of it, by personal delivery or by certified mail, on one of the proponents named in the notice of intention. (c) The answer shall be signed and shall be accompanied by the printed name and business or residence address of the officer sought to be recalled.


11024. The statement and answer are intended solely for the information of the voters. No insufficiency in form or substance thereof shall affect the validity of the election proceedings.


Article 3. Recall Petition

Ca Codes (elec:11040-11047) Elections Code Section 11040-11047



11040. (a) The petition may consist of any number of separate sections, which shall be duplicates except as to signatures and matters required to be affixed by signers and circulators. The number of signatures attached to each section shall be at the pleasure of the person soliciting the signatures. (b) Each section of the petition may consist of any number of separate pages. A page shall consist of each side of a sheet of paper on which any signatures appear.

11041. (a) The proponents shall use the recall petition format provided by the Secretary of State and available from the county elections official or the Secretary of State. Before any signature may be affixed to a recall petition, each page of each section must bear all of the following in no less than 8-point type: (1) A request that an election be called to elect a successor to the officer. However, if the officer is a justice of the Supreme Court or of a court of appeal, as specified in subdivision (a) of Section 16 of Article VI of the California Constitution, the request shall be that the Governor appoint a successor to the officer. (2) A copy of the notice of intention, including the statement of grounds for recall. For purposes of this paragraph, the copy of the notice of intention shall contain the names of at least 10 recall proponents that appear on the notice of intention and that are selected by the proponents. The elections official shall not require the names of more than 10 proponents to be included as part of the language of the notice of intention. The provisions of Section 11023 do not need to be included as part of the language of the notice of intention. (3) The answer of the officer sought to be recalled, if any. If the officer sought to be recalled has not answered, the petition shall so state. (b) All petition sections shall be printed in uniform size and darkness with uniform spacing.


11042. (a) Within 10 days after filing of the answer to the notice of intention, or, if no answer is filed, within 10 days after the expiration of the seven-day period specified in Section 11023, the proponents shall file two blank copies of the petition with the elections official in his or her office during normal office hours as posted or, in the case of a recall of a state officer, with the Secretary of State, in his or her office during normal office hours as posted, who shall ascertain if the proposed form and wording of the petition meets the requirements of this chapter. (b) At the time of the filing of the two blank copies of the petition, the proponents shall also file proof of publication of the notice of intention, if the notice of intention was published, or an affidavit of posting of the notice of intention, if the notice of intention was posted. The elections official or, in the case of a recall of a state officer, the Secretary of State, shall, within 10 days of receiving the blank copies of the petition, notify the proponents in writing of his or her finding. (c) If the elections official finds that the requirements of this chapter are not met, the elections official shall include in his or her findings a statement as to what alterations in the petition are necessary. The proponents shall, within 10 days after receiving the notification, file two blank copies of the corrected petition with the elections official in his or her office during normal office hours as posted. The 10-day correction notification period and the 10-day filing period for corrected petitions shall be repeated until the elections official or the Secretary of State finds no alterations are required. (d) No signature may be affixed to a recall petition until the elections official or, in the case of the recall of a state officer, the Secretary of State, has notified the proponents that the form and wording of the proposed petition meet the requirements of this chapter.

11043. (a) The petition sections shall be designed so that each signer shall personally affix all of the following: (1) His or her signature. (2) His or her printed name. (3) His or her residence address, giving street and number, or if no street or number exists, adequate designation of residence so that the location may be readily ascertained. (4) The name of the incorporated city or unincorporated community in which he or she resides. (b) A margin, at least one inch wide, shall be left blank across the top of each page of the petition. A margin, at least one-half inch wide, shall be left blank along the bottom of each page of the petition. (c) A space, at least one inch wide, shall be left blank after each name for the use of the elections official in verifying the petition.


11043.5. (a) The Secretary of State shall provide to county elections officials a recall petition format for distribution to proponents of a recall. The recall petition format shall be made available upon request by the county elections official and by the Secretary of State. (b) The recall petition format made available pursuant to this section shall be utilized by proponents of a recall election.


11044. Separate petitions are necessary to propose the recall of each officer.


11045. Only registered voters of the electoral jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled are qualified to circulate or sign a recall petition for that officer.


11046. To each section of a petition shall be attached a declaration, signed by the circulator thereof, that complies with Section 104. The declaration shall include a statement that the circulator is a registered voter in the jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled.


11047. When a petition is circulated in more than one county for the recall of an officer, each section of the petition shall bear the name of the county for which it is circulated, and only registered voters of that county may sign that section.


Chapter 2. Recall Of State Officers: Intermediate Steps In The Recall

Ca Codes (elec:11100-11110) Elections Code Section 11100-11110



11100. (a) This chapter applies only to the recall of state officers. (b) In addition to this chapter, Sections 13 to 18, inclusive, of Article II of the California Constitution and the applicable provisions of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 11000) and Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11300) shall govern the recall of state officers.


11101. Unless and until it is otherwise proven upon official investigation, it shall be presumed that the petition presented contains the signatures of the requisite number of registered voters.


11102. Each section of a recall petition shall be filed with the elections official of the county for which it was circulated.


11103. Each section of the petition shall be filed by the proponents or by any person or persons authorized, in writing, by a proponent. Each time an authorized person or persons files a section or sections of a petition, a copy of the written authorization shall be submitted to the elections official.


11104. (a) The elections official, 30 days after a recall has been initiated and every 30 days thereafter, or more frequently at the discretion of the elections official, shall report to the Secretary of State all of the following: (1) The number of signatures submitted on the recall petition sections for the period ending five days previously, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. (2) The cumulative total of all signatures received since the time the recall was initiated and through the period ending five days previously, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. (3) The number of valid signatures, verified pursuant to subdivision (b), submitted during the previous reporting period, and of valid signatures verified during the current reporting period. (4) The cumulative total of all valid signatures received since the time the recall was initiated and ending five days previously, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. (b) Signatures shall be verified in the same manner set forth in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of Section 9030, and in Section 9031. (c) The elections official, at the end of each 30-day period, shall attach to the petition a form provided by the Secretary of State, properly dated, that includes the information required by subdivision (a), and submit a copy of the petition, except as to the signatures appended thereto, to the Secretary of State and file a copy of the form in his or her office. (d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), and Section 11106, the elections official shall not be required to verify signatures on a recall petition until the signatures submitted equal at least 10 percent of the total signatures required to qualify the recall for the ballot, as determined by the Secretary of State.


11105. Upon each submission, if fewer than 500 signatures are submitted to the elections official, he or she shall count the number of signatures and submit those results to the Secretary of State. If 500 or more signatures are submitted, the elections official may verify, using a random sampling technique, either 3 percent of the signatures submitted, or 500, whichever is less. The random sample of signatures to be verified shall be drawn in such a manner that every signature filed with the elections official shall be given an equal opportunity to be included in the sample. Upon completion of the signature verification, the elections official shall report the results to the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 11104.


11106. Immediately after the deadline for submission of all signatures, the elections official shall verify any remaining signatures in the same manner set forth in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of Section 9030, and in Section 9031. This verification shall apply to all signatures submitted to each county elections official.


11107. The elections official, upon the completion of each examination, shall forthwith attach to the petition a certificate, properly dated, showing the result of the examination, and submit a copy of the petition, except as to the signatures appended thereto, to the Secretary of State and file a copy of the certificate in his or her office.


11108. When the Secretary of State has received from one or more county elections officials a petition certified to have been signed by the stated number of registered voters, he or she shall, within 10 days, transmit to each county elections official a certificate showing that fact, and showing the total number of signatures collected by the proponents. The county elections official shall file the certificate in his or her office.


11109. When the Secretary of State determines that the proponents have collected sufficient signatures, he or she shall certify that fact to the Governor.

11110. Upon receiving certification of the sufficiency of the recall petitions from the Secretary of State, the Governor shall make or cause to be made publication of notice for the holding of the election. Officers charged by law with duties concerning elections shall make all arrangements for the election. The election shall be conducted, returned, and the results declared, in all respects as are other state elections.


Chapter 3. Recall Of Local Officers: Intermediate Steps In The Recall

Article 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (elec:11200-11201) Elections Code Section 11200-11201



11200. This chapter shall apply to the recall of local officers.


11201. When the city or county elections official is the officer sought to be recalled, the duties imposed upon him or her shall be performed by some other person designated by the governing board.


Article 2. Recall Petitions

Ca Codes (elec:11220-11227) Elections Code Section 11220-11227



11220. (a) A recall petition shall be submitted to the elections official for filing in his or her office during normal office hours as posted within the following number of days after the clerk or, in the case of a recall of a state officer, the Secretary of State, notifies the proponents that the form and wording of the petition meets the requirements of Article 3 (commencing with Section 11040) of Chapter 1: (1) Forty days if the electoral jurisdiction has less than 1,000 registered voters. (2) Sixty days if the electoral jurisdiction has less than 5,000 registered voters but at least 1,000. (3) Ninety days if the electoral jurisdiction has less than 10,000 registered voters but at least 5,000. (4) One hundred twenty days if the electoral jurisdiction has less than 50,000 registered voters but at least 10,000. (5) One hundred sixty days if the electoral jurisdiction has 50,000 registered voters or more. (b) For purposes of this section, the number of registered voters shall be that which was reported at the last report of registration by the county elections official to the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 2187 and prior to a finding of the elections official or Secretary of State that no alterations are required in the form of the recall petition pursuant to Section 11042.


11221. The number of qualified signatures required in order to qualify a recall for the ballot shall be as follows: (a) In the case of an officer of a city, county, school district, community college district, county board of education, or resident voting district, the number of signatures shall be equal in number to not less than the following percent of the registered voters in the electoral jurisdiction: (1) Thirty percent if the registration is less than 1,000. (2) Twenty-five percent if the registration is less than 10,000 but at least 1,000. (3) Twenty percent if the registration is less than 50,000 but at least 10,000. (4) Fifteen percent if the registration is less than 100,000 but at least 50,000. (5) Ten percent if the registration is 100,000 or above. (b) For purposes of this section, the number of registered voters shall be calculated as of the time of the last report of registration by the county elections official to the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 2187, and prior to the finding by the elections official or Secretary of State that no alterations are required in the form of the recall petition pursuant to Section 11042. (c) (1) In the case of a state officer, including judges of courts of appeal and trial courts, the number of signatures shall be as provided for in subdivision (b) of Section 14 of Article II of the California Constitution. In the case of a judge of a superior court, which office has never appeared on the ballot since its creation, or did not appear on the ballot at its last election pursuant to Section 8203, the number of signatures shall be as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 14 of Article II of the California Constitution, except that the percentage shall be based on the number of votes cast within the judicial jurisdiction for the countywide office which had the least number of votes in the most recent general election in the county in which the judge holds his or her office. (2) For purposes of this subdivision, "countywide office" means an elective office wholly within the county which is voted on throughout the county. (d) In the case of a landowner voting district, signatures of voters owning at least 10 percent of the assessed value of land within the electoral jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled.


11222. (a) The petition shall be filed by the proponents, or by any person or persons authorized, in writing, by a proponent. All sections of the petition shall be filed at the same time. (b) When the petition is presented for filing, the elections official shall determine the total number of signatures affixed to the petition. If, from this examination, the elections official determines that the number of signatures, prima facie, equals or is in excess of the minimum number of signatures required, the elections official shall accept the petition for filing. The petition shall be deemed as filed on that date. Any sections of the petition not so filed shall be void for all purposes. If, from the elections official' s examination, the elections official determines that the number of signatures, prima facie, does not equal or exceed the minimum number of signatures required, the petition shall not be filed. Any petition not accepted for filing shall be returned to the proponents.


11223. If the petition was circulated in more than one county, the elections official of each county shall affix, with the certificate showing the results of his or her examination, the number of registered voters of the county residing within the electoral jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled.


11224. (a) Except as provided in Section 11225, within 30 days from the date of filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, the elections official shall examine the petition, and from the records of registration, ascertain whether or not the petition is signed by the requisite number of voters. If the elections official's examination shows that the number of valid signatures is greater than the required number, the elections official shall certify the petition to be sufficient. If the number of valid signatures is less than the required number, the elections official shall certify the petition to be insufficient. (b) In determining the number of valid signatures, the elections official may use the duplicate file of affidavits maintained, or may check the signatures against facsimiles of voters' signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with law. (c) The elections official shall attach to the petition a certificate showing the result of this examination, and shall notify the proponents of either the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition. (d) If the petition is found sufficient, the elections official shall certify the results of the examination to the governing board at its next regular meeting.


11225. (a) Within 30 days from the date of filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, if, from the examination of petitions pursuant to Section 11222, more than 500 signatures have been signed on the petition, the elections official may use a random sampling technique for verification of signatures. The random sample of signatures to be verified shall be drawn in a manner so that every signature filed with the elections official shall have an equal opportunity to be included in the sample. The random sampling shall include an examination of at least 500 or 5 percent of the signatures, whichever is greater. (b) If the statistical sampling shows that the number of valid signatures is greater than 110 percent of the required number, the elections official shall certify the petition to be sufficient. (c) If the statistical sampling shows that the number of valid signatures is within 90 to 110 percent of the number of signatures of qualified voters needed to declare the petition sufficient, the elections official shall examine and verify each signature filed. If the elections official's examination of each signature shows that the number of valid signatures is greater than the required number, the elections official shall certify the petition to be sufficient. If the number of valid signatures is less than the required number, the elections official shall certify the petition to be insufficient. (d) If the statistical sampling shows that the number of valid signatures is less than 90 percent of the required number, the elections official shall certify the petition to be insufficient. (e) In determining from the records of registration the number of valid signatures signed on the petition, the elections official may use the duplicate file of affidavits maintained, or may check the signatures against facsimiles of voters' signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with law. (f) The elections official shall attach to the petition, a certificate showing the result of this examination, and shall notify the proponents of either the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition. (g) If the petition is found insufficient, no action shall be taken on the petition. However, the failure to secure sufficient signatures shall not preclude the filing later of an entirely new petition to the same effect. (h) If the petition is found to be sufficient, the elections official shall certify the results of the examination to the governing body at its next regular meeting.


11226. If the certificate shows that the petition is insufficient, no action shall be taken on it, but the petition shall remain on file.

11227. If the elections official finds the signatures on the petition to be sufficient, he or she shall submit his or her certificate as to the sufficiency of the petition to the governing body at its next regular meeting. The certificate shall contain: (a) The name of the officer whose recall is sought. (b) The title of his or her office. (c) The number of signatures required by law. (d) The total number of signatures on the petition. (e) The number of valid signatures on the petition. (f) The number of signatures which were disqualified.



Article 3. The Recall Election

Ca Codes (elec:11240-11242) Elections Code Section 11240-11242



11240. Within 14 days after the meeting at which the governing body received the certificate of sufficiency as specified in Section 11227, the governing body shall issue an order stating that an election shall be held pursuant to this article to determine whether or not the officer named in the petition shall be recalled.


11241. If the governing board fails to issue the order within the time specified in Section 11240, the county elections official, within five days, shall set the date for holding the election. If the recall is to be voted on by voters in more than one county, the elections official of the county with the largest number of registered voters who will be voting in the election shall set the date for holding the election in consultation with the elections officials of the other counties.


11242. The election shall be held not less than 88, nor more than 125, days after the issuance of the order, and if a regular or special election is to be held throughout the electoral jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled within this time period, the recall election shall be held on the same day, and consolidated with, the regular or special election.


Chapter 4. General Procedures: Final Steps In The Recall

Article 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (elec:11300-11303) Elections Code Section 11300-11303



11300. No insufficiency in a petition against any officer shall bar the later filing of a new petition against that officer.


11301. If a petition is found insufficient by the elections official or, in the case of the recall of a state officer, the Secretary of State, the petition signatures may be examined in accordance with Section 6253.5 of the Government Code.


11302. If a vacancy occurs in an office after a recall petition is filed against the vacating officer, the recall election shall nevertheless proceed. The vacancy shall be filled as provided by law, but any person appointed to fill the vacancy shall hold office only until a successor is selected in accordance with Article 4 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 5 (commencing with Section 11380), and the successor qualifies for that office.


11303. A voter who has signed a recall petition shall have his or her signature withdrawn from the petition upon filing a written request therefor with the elections official prior to the day the petition section bearing the voter's signature is filed. A written request made under this section shall not constitute a petition or paper for purposes of Section 104.


Article 2. Ballots

Ca Codes (elec:11320-11327) Elections Code Section 11320-11327



11320. The following shall appear on the ballots at every recall election, except in the case of a landowner voting district, with respect to each officer sought to be recalled: (a) The question "Shall �name of officer sought to be recalled) be recalled (removed) from the office of �title of office) " (b) To the right of the foregoing question, the words "Yes" and "No" on separate lines with an enclosed voting space to the right of each.

11322. In addition to the material contained in Section 11320, the following shall appear on ballots at all recall elections, except at a landowner voting district recall election: (a) The names of the candidates nominated to succeed the officer sought to be recalled shall appear under each recall question. (b) Following each list of candidates, the ballot shall provide one blank line with a voting space to the right of it for the voter to write in a name not printed on the ballot.


11323. A voter shall indicate, by using the stamp or other marking device to place a mark in the voting space opposite either "Yes" or "No", his vote for or against the recall proposal, respectively.


11324. The official responsible for preparing the ballot shall, at least 10 days prior to the recall election, mail a sample ballot to each registered voter of the electoral jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled.

11325. (a) With the sample ballot there shall be mailed for each officer whose recall is sought, a printed copy of the following: (1) The statement of reasons for recall that appeared on the notice of intent to recall that was filed by the proponents of the recall with the elections official, or in the case of a state officer, with the Secretary of State. (2) The answer to the statement of reasons for recall that was filed by the officer whose recall is sought with the elections official or, in the case of a state officer, with the Secretary of State, if any answer was filed. (b) The printed copies of the statement and the answer to that statement shall be mailed with the sample ballot either in a document separate from the sample ballot or in the same document in which the sample ballot appears. Both the statement and answer shall be printed on the same page, or on facing pages of the document, and shall be of equal prominence. (c) If the recall of more than one officer is sought, the statement and answer for each officer shall be printed together and shall be clearly distinguished from those of any other officer.


11327. An officer whose recall is being sought may file a statement with the elections official in accordance with Section 13307, to be sent to each voter, together with the sample ballot.


Article 3. Elections In General

Ca Codes (elec:11328-11329) Elections Code Section 11328-11329



11328. A recall election shall be conducted, canvassed, and the results declared in substantially the manner provided by law for a regular election for the office.


11329. One election is sufficient for the recall of several officers.


Article 4. Recall Elections

Ca Codes (elec:11381-11386) Elections Code Section 11381-11386



11381. Nominations of candidates to succeed the recalled officer shall be made in the manner prescribed for nominating a candidate to that office in a regular election insofar as that procedure is consistent with this article. The following exceptions shall be made to that procedure: (a) For recalls of state officers, the nomination papers and the declaration of candidacy shall, in each case, be filed no less than 59 days prior to the date of the election and not before the day the order of the election is issued. The Secretary of State shall certify the names of the candidates to be placed on the ballot by the 55th day prior to the election. (b) For recalls of local officers, the nomination papers and the declaration of candidacy shall, in each case, be filed not less than 75 days prior to the date of the election and not before the day the order of the election is issued. If the elections official is required to certify to the governing board the names of the candidates to be placed on the ballot, that shall be done by the 71st day prior to the election. (c) No person whose recall is being sought may be a candidate to succeed himself or herself at a recall election nor to succeed any other member of the same governing board whose recall is being sought at the same election.


11383. If one-half or more of the votes at a recall election are "No", the officer sought to be recalled shall continue in office.


11384. If a majority of the votes on a recall proposal are "Yes", the officer sought to be recalled shall be removed from office upon the qualification of his successor.


11385. If at a recall election an officer is recalled, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes for the office shall be declared elected for the unexpired term of the recalled officer.


11386. If the candidate who received the highest number of votes fails to qualify within 10 days after receiving his or her certificate of election, the office to which he or she was elected shall be vacant, and shall be filled according to law.


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