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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

What you need to know about the recall of Governor Newsom

Shirley Weber explains the recall of Governor Newsom
Dr. Shirley N. Weber, California Secretary of State

By Jenny Manrique. Ethnic Media Services/Peninsula 360 Press [P360P]

California will hold a recall election against Governor Gavin Newsom on September 14 and if majorities vote to remove him from office, a new governor will be elected that same day from a certified list of 46 candidates.

24 Republicans, nine Democrats, two Green Party members, one Libertarian and 10 with no party preference are vying to replace Newsom who will face a referendum on his tenure at the ballot box amid the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and a record-breaking drought.

?It's probably the most important election we'll see in a long time, not only because of the implications of who becomes governor, but also because of the message it sends to the entire country about California politics,? said Secretary of State Shirley Nash Weber in a conversation with reporters organized by Ethnic Media Services.

The best known names in the list of certified candidates including housewives, college students and former public officials are Republican Caitlyn Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist, and Larry Elder, a conservative radio host. Democratic candidate Kevin Paffrath, a personal finance influencer with more than 1.6 million YouTube followers, is another popular name.

Weber, who is California's first African-American clerk and took office on Jan. 29, 2021 after replacing now-Senator Alex Padilla, said the election could cost about US$400 million, an ?extremely expensive? price tag for an election that only needs to collect the number of signatures equivalent to 12% of the electorate to be called.

Other states authorize recalls based on at least 30% of those voters and there are several where this option does not exist, but since 1913 in California there have already been 55 attempts to recall the governor, the only successful one being in 2003, when 55.4% of the vote went in favor of recalling Gray Davis, replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After the election I plan to get a bipartisan group of people together to look at our recall and recall process and see whether or not we need to continue down this path," Weber added. The margin (of the electorate to call for recall) is too low," Weber added.

On the idea that the Republican Party promotes recalls in a blue state where it cannot win statewide elections, and these may be a more expeditious path to power rather than campaigning for two years, the secretary said that ?it may be true and that may be why we are seeing several recalls in the state while other states are moving forward with voter suppression legislation?

Weber maintained that he has asked his staff for a list of recalls that have been progressing to more local levels such as county supervisor, city councils and school boards.

The daughter of sharecropping parents in Hope, Arkansas, during the Jim Crow segregationist era, whose family moved to California when she was three years old, Weber shared that her parents never had the opportunity to register to vote while living in Arkansas, and that her grandparents passed away before the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Voting is extremely important to me and extremely important to the communities I serve," Weber said. ?We are in a critical period where people are voting in large numbers and, as a result of that, there is also an effort to suppress those numbers.?

A recall election is very important because you can potentially remove a disdainful person from office, not just elect a person to office," added Weber, who invited Californians to check if they are registered to vote at voterstatus.SOS.ca.gov, or if they are eligible to vote to do so virtually before August 30 to receive their ballot in the mail.

He also indicated that his office has dedicated a budget of $17 million to disseminate electoral information on these elections.

There will be two questions on the ballot: do you want to recall Governor Gavin Newsom? And who should he be replaced by?

Weber explained that if 50% plus one says yes, then the answer to the second question ?becomes relevant. Of the 46 candidates to replace Newsom, whoever gets a simple majority, i.e. the most votes, even if it is only 20%, will win. If the people say they don't want to get rid of the government, it doesn't matter who gets the most votes to replace him.

Still, all voters should answer the second question, because even if you don't want to recall (Newsom) you still want to have your say on who becomes governor," he said.

Key dates

August 16: Counties will begin mailing ballots to the homes of registered voters.

August 24: the Secretary of State will publish the information guide with all the details of the election and competing candidates.

August 30: Last day for voters to easily register online and receive a ballot in the mail.

August 31 to September 14: In-person registration at polling places and drop boxes set up by local voter registries.

Sept. 7: last day for counties to send in vote-by-mail ballots
September 14: Election Day. Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

September 16 to October 14: counting of ballots.

22 October: official date on which the election results are known.

Voters can track their vote-by-mail ballot through the portal: Where is my ballot

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