Politics California governor extends all-mail voting through a potential recall
Republicans roll out “tidal wave of voter suppression”: 253 restrictive bills in 43 states
GOP is using Trump’s “big lie” to push a historic “contraction of voting rights," says Democratic lawyer Marc Elias Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference about the opening of a COVID-19 vaccination site at the Hard Rock Stadium on January 06, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The governor announced that the stadium's parking lot which offers COVID-19 tests will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations for residents 65 and older to drive up and get vaccinated. The vaccination site opened today for a trial run but it was not known when it will be open to the general public.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday signed legislation that could dramatically upend an effort to recall him from office that is gaining steam ahead of a March deadline.
Newsom signed a bill that will require county elections officials to mail absentee ballots to every registered voter for elections held in 2021, extending an emergency order covering last year's contests, made in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill passed the legislature by a supermajority vote, allowing it to take effect immediately. No Republican voted for the legislation, though state Assemblyman Chad Mayes, an independent and former Republican, voted in favor.
Newsom recall effort moves closer toward making the ballot with 1.1 million signatures
Almost 1.1 million signatures have been submitted in support of a recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom, state elections officials reported Friday, not yet enough to trigger a campaign to oust him from office.The tally released by Secretary of State Shirley Weber shows that 1,094,457 signatures had been turned in as of Feb. 5, with 668,202 confirmed as valid. The majority of signatures that remained — more than 296,000 — had not yet been reviewed by elections officials in California's 58 counties, making it difficult to fully assess the likelihood of a special statewide election later this year. An additional 130,108 signatures were deemed invalid during the review process.
The new law would cover a potential recall election if Newsom's opponents succeed in gathering the signatures they need to force Newsom to defend himself by a mid-March deadline.
California's Secretary of State's office said that through February 5, it had verified 668,202 signatures of the 1,495,709 recall advocates need to turn in to force the recall. Another 300,000 signatures had yet to be processed, but recall advocates said they had collected about 1.7 million total signatures.
Recall and ballot initiative campaigns in California typically submit hundreds of thousands more signatures than they actually need, to account for those that will be invalidated or thrown out. About 16 percent of the signatures the recall advocates have turned in have been invalid, a higher validation rate than is typical of a signature-gathering campaign.
Gavin Newsom Recall Chances Rise as 1.5 Million Petition Signatures Reached—Bookmakers
Betfair has said the chances of the California Governor being recalled stand at 2-1. A week ago, before the campaign hit its target, the odds were at 5-1. William Hill placed the odds at 5-2 for Newsom getting recalled. In terms of who will win California Governor election in 2022 if the recall isn't successful, Betfair does not rank Newsom as favorite. Chamath Palihapitiya is ranked as favorite at 5-4, followed by Newsom at 6-4. Dakota Vaughn follows at 10-1, then Daniel Mercuri at 12-1, Errol Webber at 16-1 and Major Williams at 16-1.
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Extending the vote-by-mail program through the year is likely to aid Democratic efforts to stymie the recall, putting ballots in the hands of voters who might not otherwise have showed up to a polling place to vote. Those who want to recall a governor have more incentive to show up to vote than those who would otherwise vote against a recall.
"It will result in a lot of ballot harvesting," said John Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College. "Unlike last year, when Covid fears led them to curtail personal contact, Democrats will resume door-to-door collection of ballots."
But proponents of the recall said extending vote-by-mail could aid them, too, as anger over Newsom's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the state's economy grows.
Florida Republicans want to impose new voting restrictions. They’re not the only ones.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’s plan to make it harder to vote by mail, briefly explained.At a news conference in Palm Beach on Friday, DeSantis, a Republican, announced a proposed slate of new voting restrictions that would make it more difficult for voters to receive and return mail-in ballots in future Florida elections.
"He and his cronies at the state capitol are trying to change the rules in the middle of the game," said Randy Economy, a spokesman for the recall campaign. "You have a very angry electorate out there right now, and if everybody has access to a ballot during a recall election he may have just sealed his own fate."
Thad Kousser, who chairs the political science department at the University of California-San Diego, said the new law is unlikely to have a major impact in part because so many Californians vote by mail already. More than 86 percent of California voters cast a ballot by mail in 2020.
California political experts say Newsom is already in a far better position than the last governor who was subject to a recall, Gray Davis. In 2003, Democrats held an eight-point registration advantage over Republicans; 55 percent of the 9.4 million voters who showed up voted to recall Davis, installing Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in his place.
This year, there is no candidate of Schwarzenegger's profile who has signaled they will run. The most prominent Republicans who have signaled they will run, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), businessman John Cox (R), lack the global profile Schwarzenegger commanded.
And the state is much different, too. Today, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by a nearly two-to-one margin, according to the Secretary of State's latest report. Newsom won 7.7 million votes in 2018, when he beat Cox by almost 24 percentage points. President Biden carried the state by 29 points last year.
Governors' Long Honeymoon of COVID Approval Ratings Is Coming to an End .
Democrats and Republican governors of blue states appear to have benefited more from their handling of the virus.But those polling bounces from handling the virus have been eroded over the course of the pandemic, and many governors have seen a substantial drop from their approval rating peaks last spring.