California Secretary of State Shirley Weber confirmed on Wednesday that the 2021 Governor recall election would be taking place due to a lack of voter signature withdrawal.
Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.
From April 26th to June 8th, Californians who had given one of the more than 1.7 million validated recall petition signatures had the opportunity to withdraw their names from the petition. In the last major hurdle before sending the recall to the Department of Finance, over 224,000 signatures would have been needed to have been withdrawn in order to stop the recall election at this stage. However, Secretary Weber revealed on Wednesday that only 43 people had officially withdrawn their signatures by the deadline, only a few more than the 36 that had been previously estimated.
“It was embarrassingly low,” said former lobbyist Harry Schultz, who helped lobby during the 2003 Gray Davis recall, to the Globe on Thursday. “Necessary, yes. It’s all part of the process. But so few people wanted to remove their names from it. I mean, they put out a press release for it and it looked like they originally had a lot more wrapped up around it too. They were obviously hoping for a larger number, but only a few dozens out of 1.7 million with drew. That tells you something.”
“Polls show Newsom, right now, beating the recall. But they also show that he is vulnerable. And once the goodwill from COVID recovery wears out, he faces several months of wildfire season, end of session bill approvals, and most importantly, avoiding any controversy, which he seems to stir up several times a year. The Secretary of State confirming the results today and sending it up is only the beginning. As anyone with any political experience knows, anything can happen in even the shortest amount of time during an election.”
Estimated costs of the recall
The Department of Finance will now need to estimate the cost of the election. While the Department has given previous estimates ranging from over $400 million to $215 million, the reduction of COVID-19 restrictions and health and safety measures is expected to keep costs lower than previously expected.
“Secretary Weber’s letter to the Department of Finance triggers the next phase of the recall process in which the DOF will estimate the costs of the gubernatorial recall if it is held as a special election and if it is held as part of the next regularly scheduled election,” noted Weber’s press release on Wednesday. “These estimated costs must be submitted to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Secretary of State, and the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) by August 5.”
Once the estimated costs are calculated and sent in no later than August 5th, the JLBC will then have 30 days to review the estimated costs. Following that, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis will then set a date for an election between 60 and 80 days later, meaning that the recall election would likely occur sometime in November this year.
Gavin Newsom, who faces being recalled due to a wide variety of reasons including his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, his ignorance of many COVID-19 guidelines during events like dinner parties, and not reacting quickly to the plight of small businesses damaged during his issued lockdowns, has now officially become the second Governor in state history to face recall following Weber’s Wednesday announcement.
The JLBC budget review is due to be submitted in the coming weeks.
- First California Recall Debate Announced For August 4th at Richard Nixon Library - July 24, 2021
- The Pressure Of Choosing Between Vaccination And Employment - July 23, 2021
- EDD Changes Unemployment Payment Policy Following Lawsuit - July 23, 2021