Critics Gather Enough Signatures – Newsom to Head Into A Recall Election
The Recall Gavin Newsom Campaign, having launched early last year, has gathered enough signatures, which will officially trigger a recall election. According to the Secretary of State, the campaign has gathered approximately 1,626,042 valid signatures.
A final verification is set for this Friday, April 29th.
If Governor Newsom were to be removed from office, the transition of power would have long-lasting impacts on California. They include our statewide response to COVID-19, re-opening and re-entry plans, vaccine distribution, and economic recovery.
Here's what you need to know.
Next steps for the recall election
Starting this week and for the next 30 days, voters may request to have their name removed from the recall petition.
Unless the number of unique signatures drops below 1.5 million, a recall election must take place within 60-80 days. As of now, a specific date for the recall election has not been confirmed.
On the day of the election, voters must answer two key questions:
- First, whether or not Governor Newsom should be recalled.
- If voters say yes, they must next choose a replacement for Governor.
In terms of a replacement, several prominent figures have announced their candidacy. Notable names include: businessman John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Representative Doug Ose, and celebrity Caitlyn Jenner. Other names are expected to announce in the near future.
The Governor only needs a simple majority of the vote to stay in office. However, if Newsom loses the election, a new Governor will be sworn into office within 28 days of the election.
Reasons for the recall election
With the COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacting communities, businesses, and local governments throughout California, there have been growing frustrations among Californians about Newsom's response to the pandemic.
According to the official petition, there are several pressing issues proponents use to justify Governor Newsom's removal. They are:
- COVID-19 response: As California nears 3.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, recall supporters argue that Governor Newsom's response has been inadequate. However, with daily COVID-19 cases substantially declining after the winter-surge, voters may be split on this issue.
- Economic concerns: Due to COVID-19 and statewide health orders, thousands of businesses have been forced to close, decimating economic corridors and employment opportunities. While Governor Newsom has officially rolled back some restrictions, there are still many challenges to face in order to safely re-open the economy.
- Homelessness: Boasting some of the highest numbers in the nation, California has an estimated 150,000 individuals experiencing homelessness. Unsatisfied with Newsom's response, recall proponents want a new fresh approach to the crisis.
- Taxes and cost of living: According to The Council for Community and Economic Research, California is the 2nd most expensive place to live in, in part due to population density and high taxes. With costly taxes such as Proposition 15 constantly being introduced - even during the pandemic - recall proponents want more supportive measures.
Although recall organizers are optimistic they will gather the required amount of signatures, supporters will likely have to hold their breath. Newsom won the 2018 gubernatorial election with 61.9% of the vote - a significant 23.8% lead over candidate John Cox.
Even if the recall election takes place, Newsom still has until the election to prove to Californians whether or not he is still fit for office. Depending on Newsom's performance until then, California could see a new Governor and a new response to COVID-19.