I've got two officials I'm using as examples in particular. One is the Attorney General of the State of Maine. According to the Maine Constitution:
The Attorney General shall be chosen biennially by joint ballot of the Senators and Representatives in convention.
The other is the chairman of the board of professional land surveyors. According to 32 MRS S 18211 SS 4:
The board shall meet at least once a year to conduct its business and to elect a chair.
What I'm wondering is, 'how long do these terms last?'
In the first place, consider a scenario where John is elected Attorney General or Chair of the Board in a January of say the year 2000. Suppose the next election of a Chair or an Attorney General does not happen until December of 2001 or December of 2002 respectively. In each of those cases, does John serve more than one total year (in the case of Chair) or more than two total years (in the case of the AG)?
In the second place, suppose no "election" or "motion of choosing" takes place at all. What is the logical consequence of such a failure? If the preceding AG or the preceding Chair continues to serve, there is no consequence it seems for not doing that which is required by law. Does the Chair or AG cease to serve upon failure to "choose" or "elect" them annually or biennially? If so, when? - (see my first question above).
I did manage to find this. See 5 MRS S 3
§3. Civil officers serve until successors qualify All civil officers, other than judicial officers, appointed in accordance with law and whose terms of office are fixed by law, shall hold office during the term for which they were appointed and until their successors in office have been appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed in accordance with law. [1975, c. 771, §25 (RPR).]
But 1) I don't exactly know what counts as a civil officer. And 2) I don't know what "terms of office are fixed by law" means precisely. After all, if the terms were really fixed by law, I might not be asking this question in the first place. On the other hand, if it is presumed that the "elections" will take place when they're supposed to do so, then the terms are kind of "fixed" in a sense.
Secondly, even if the AG counts as a "civil officer", one of the very next sections after 5 MRS Section 3 says this. (See 5 MRS Section 6):
§6. Officials have 30 days to qualify All public officers appointed or renewed in accordance with law shall, within 30 days after being commissioned, qualify to perform the duties of their office and the certificate of qualification must be filed in the office of the Secretary of State. Any officer who fails to qualify within 30 days and file a certificate of qualification in the office of the Secretary of State within 45 days must be suspended by the Secretary of State until the defect is corrected. During this suspension, the officer may be deemed to have forfeited the appointment and the office may be declared vacant by the appointing authority and a new appointment made. [1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §7 (AMD).]
I checked with the secretary of state. There are no "certificates of qualification" for board chairs. That must mean that they count as something other than "public officers." So that might mean that section 3 does not apply to them at all.
There is one more thing. See 10 MRS S 8009:
§8009. Standardized terms Notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon expiration of a professional or occupational licensing board member's term, that member serves until a successor is appointed and qualified. The successor's term commences at the expiration of the preceding term, regardless of the date of appointment. A vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of a specified term must be filled by appointment of a similarly qualified individual as a replacement. The replacement member serves for the remainder of the unexpired term, regardless of the date of appointment. [2013, c. 217, Pt. A, §2 (AMD).]
But I am sure this section is talking about the terms of actual board members, not the chair or any other kind of special elected officer of the board.
What I'd like to know, in addition to an answer particularized for the state of Maine in these cases if you can, is when the term of such an official would end in the absence of any kind of legal specification?