In the last few years, they have been used quite a bit. In fact, we've had several recall elections lately, beginning with the ouster of Gray Davis by Arnold Schwarzenegger some years ago. Last year, then, there were the recall attempts against conservative judges (and legislators?) in Wisconsin and then this year the recall attempt on Scott Walker, again in Wisconsin; all of those failed. And now, two Colorado lawmakers have been recalled for their support of anti-gun legislation. The interesting thing to me is that in all these cases, the liberals/progressives lost, regardless of which side of the election they were on. Conservatives are learning to use progressive tools to respond to progressivism!
This doesn't mean I like initiative and recall any better. I still think they contribute to poorly-written laws and unseemly chaos in government. But it's better than violent revolution, I suppose, which would be the only recourse of the citizens in many parts of the world. So here's to the good citizens of Colorado: Good on ye for throwin' the bums out! Now, if we could all just learn not to elect the bums in the first place . . .