California Officials Announce Reforms to Recall Gavin Newsom After He Avoids Recall.
Following California Governor Gavin Newsom’s stunning victory over a Republican-led recall effort, Democrats have pushed to revamp the 110-year-old recall process, which can be started by collecting signatures from 12% of voters in the previous election.
Those in favor of reform argue that the procedure is too simple to start and is riddled with flaws. It entails casting two votes: does one support recall? and does one oppose recall? And who should take the governor’s post now that he’s been recalled? Newsom would have been removed from office if a majority of voters supported his recall.
“Now that the recall is finished, I believe it is time to re-evaluate and improve California’s recall process,” said state Senator Steve Glazer. “Voters want a more democratic procedure in place, one that holds elected officials accountable while also preventing partisan game-playing with the rules.
“We intend to collaborate with policy experts and stakeholders from many political perspectives to develop a realistic solution that is appropriate for today’s California.”
Democrats contend that a recall election can be used as a partisan tactic to remove a popular governor, such as Newsom. According to a Spectrum news poll, 56 percent of respondents approved of Newsom’s “handling of his job.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, Democrats proposed boosting the signature requirement from 12 to 20% as part of their revamp. Other options include having the lieutenant governor replace the recalled governor automatically to minimize partisanship, or allowing the recalled governor to run alongside replacement candidates to prevent someone with a lower overall vote from assuming office.
Any revisions to the recall procedure would take place in 2022. The process would have to be altered through a proposed ballot proposal because it is part of California’s constitution. Early polls, according to the Bee, show that such a move is popular. Former California Governor Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003, claimed it may help prevent a future democratic backlash.
Davis told the Bee, “California has avoided a bullet twice.” He was impeached in 2003 after 45 percent of Californians chose to keep him in office. “On the replacement ballot, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger received 49 percent of the vote,” he stated.
“Eventually, they will not be able to avoid the bullet, and a governor will be replaced. This is a condensed version of the information.