World Gavin Newsom 'Trying to Change the Rules' by Extending All-Mail Voting, Recall Campaign Says
Gavin Newsom Recall Unlikely Even as Petition Clears Hurdle, Democratic Strategists Say
Efforts to recall Gavin Newsom have drawn comparisons to the successful recall of former California Governor Gray Davis in 2003, but strategists say the two scenarios are entirely different. It was just months into Davis' second term that a recall campaign summoned enough support to trigger a recall election, and Davis later lost his position to Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in the fall of 2003.Eighteen years later, Newsom is likely to face a recall of his own after Recall Gavin Newsom announced it had collected more than 1.
The spokesperson for Recallon Monday criticized the Democratic governor's recent decision to extend all-mail voting in California through the end of 2021.
The extension would likely be in effect for a recall election aimed at Newsom, which experts predict will happen later this year.
Fact Check: Did California Verify Signatures for Newsom Recall But Not Mail-In Ballots?
Last year, the movement to recall Gavin Newsom began after growing frustration over the Democratic California governor's leadership. Organizers of Recall Gavin 2020 and Rescue California cited several reasons why Newsom has "failed Californians."Organizers of Recall Gavin 2020 and Rescue California cited several reasons why Newsom has "failed Californians," including rising unemployment, homelessness, high taxes, a rise in crime, lack of affordable housing, a failure to enforce immigration laws and his move to "overrule the will of the people regarding the death penalty.
California changed its vote-by-mail policy ahead of last year's general election in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of requiring voters to request a mail-in ballot, election officials were instructed to send a ballot to every registered voter in the state.
At the time, Newsom said the move was necessary so that Californians would not have to pick between staying home to avoid potential COVID-19 exposure and going to the polls to vote. "No Californian should be forced to risk their health in order to exercise their right to vote," the governor said last May.
More California voters cast ballots in the 2020 general election than in any previous election, with more than 3 million more votes cast in 2020 than in the 2016 presidential election, according to state election data.
Gavin Newsom Edges Toward Recall as Officials Accept More Than 80 Percent of Signatures
In past efforts to recall a California governor, signature verification hovered between 40 and 60 percent , this latest recall effort has seen election officials verifying more than 80 percent of the submitted signatures. At least 130,108 signatures have been deemed invalid during the review process. There have been 55 attempts in California history to recall a governor, but the only successful one was Gray Davis in 2003. A key factor in favor of recall supporters is the relatively low rate of rejected signatures compared to previous attempts.
On February 19, Newsom's office announced that he had signed legislation to extend the pandemic-inspired policy through 2021.
"When California conducts an election in 2021, it is unknown to what degree the COVID-19 pandemic will still pose a threat to public health," the legislation said. "The state and its counties need to begin taking action now in order to ensure that elections are held in a manner that is accessible, secure, and safe."
Newsom's term as governor is set to last through 2022, but it is possible he could be removed from office earlier if a recall election takes place. Earlier this month, Recall Gavin Newsom, a campaign that launched last year, announced that it had collected the minimum number of signatures needed to qualify for a recall election. The campaign is continuing to collect signatures as those already recorded are verified.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber's office said it verified 668,202 signatures by February 19. At least 1,495,709 signatures must be verified in order for a recall election to proceed.
Newsom Faults Lawmakers' School Reopening Plan for Not Being 'Far or Fast Enough'
Legislators want to open schools for elementary students, but the governor opposes guaranteeing teachers vaccination before in-person classes resume."While the Legislature's proposal represents a step in the right direction, it doesn't go far enough or fast enough," Newsom said in a press release Thursday. "I look forward to building on the growing momentum to get our schools open and continuing discussions with the Legislature to get our kids back in school as safely and quickly as possible.
Political expertsa recall election could happen this summer or this fall, depending on if and when county officials throughout California verify the signatures of those who signed the petition.
Randy Economy, a spokesperson for Recall Gavin Newsom, criticized the governor's decision to extend all-mail voting through a potential recall election.
"He and his cronies at the state capitol are trying to change the rules in the middle of the game," Economy told The Hill, adding that the decision "may have just sealed his own fate."
Newsweek reached out to Economy for further comment and will update this article with any response.
Georgia GOP Declared 'Open Season' On Black Voting Rights, Rep. Hank Johnson Says .
"If left to their own devices, Republicans will try to limit the ability of minority voters to exercise their fundamental right to vote," said Johnson, a Georgia Democrat who co-sponsored a federal election standards bill which Republicans have labeled "overreach."Representative Hank Johnson of Atlanta is among several House Democrats who are accusing Georgia Republicans of introducing new "voter integrity" bills which aim to end traditional get-out-the-vote campaigns in Black communities.