How Does the California Recall Work?

July 17, 2021

In the history of California, only one sitting Governor has been successfully recalled, Gray Davis. Since 1913, there has only been one recall election for the Governor. Whether or not you agree with the recall, one thing is certain: this is significant. Secretary of State Shirley Weber's office found 1,719,943 signatures to be valid, triggering the second recall election in California history.  

The recall ballot has two parts.

The first is a yes/no question. The question will read: Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor. CHECK YES. The initiative will need a majority (over 50%) to check yes in order for Gavin Newsom to be removed. IF a majority check YES, the remainder of the ballot becomes relevant.

The second prompt is a list of candidates. It will read: Candidates to succeed Gavin Newsom as Governor if he is recalled. There will be dozens of candidates. A candidate only needs a simple majority to win the office of Governor. Prominent candidates include Larry Elder, Kevin Kiley, John Cox, Kevin Faulconer, Caitlyn Jenner, and Doug Ose.

Example: If Kevin Kiley received 35%, Larry Elder 37%, John Cox 11%, Major Williams 5%, etc., Larry Elder would win because he has a simple majority of votes. You do not have to have over 50% of the vote to win.

While the media claims that the recall effort has been pushed by anti-vaxxers, republicans, and others, there is no clear data to support that claim. The messaging campaign of the recall has been simple: Gov. Gavin Newsom has overstepped his constitutional authority and has used a State of Emergency to consolidate power.

Republican or Democrat, the reality that Newsom's thirst for power has been tangible. It is the privilege and duty of Californian's to keep their leaders accountable, regardless of party loyalty.  

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