Gov. Newsom appointed Shirley Weber now oversees her recall election
“We want to make sure people understand the process, understand what is being asked of them,” Weber said in an interview. “And we want to have a high turnout so that it’s really a people’s mandate one way or another.”
In the state’s recall election in 2003, 61 percent of registered voters voted, a turnout level consistent with most state governorate elections. And the table is set for high levels of voter turnout this time around after California voters rallied in historic numbers in the 2020 election.
And like last year, California voters will once again receive a default ballot in the mail for the recall election, a practice that has resulted in spikes in turnout.
But almost two decades have passed since the last recall, the challenge for Weber and local election officials will be to hand over the “nuts and bolts” of the poll, said Mindy Romero, director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy at the University of the South. . California.
The date for the recall election is unlikely to be announced by Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis until the fall, leaving Weber just a few months to get the word out on voting deadlines.
And the recall ballot will also be different from a typical gubernatorial election: voters will first choose whether they support Newsom’s resignation from office. They must then select their preferred candidate to replace the governor if the recall question wins the support of 50% plus one of the voters.
“If people are not sure what their vote means, it could also deter some people from participating,” Romero said. “And for people who are not so aware of [the election], which in general tends to have a disproportionate impact on chronically under-represented groups, “such as black and Latino voters.
Minutes after announcing that the recall campaign had collected enough valid signatures to force an election, Weber’s office tweeted a timeline of the recall’s path to the ballot, which includes a period for voters to remove their signatures from the election. recall petition and months for state analysts. to determine the cost of the election.
– CA SOS vote (@CASOSvote) April 26, 2021
“I’ve found that a lot of people don’t understand the process,” Weber said. “Even friends and family called me and asked, ‘Has the governor been called back? In other words, is it over? What happened? Did we miss something? ‘”
As the elections approach, Weber could play a more active role in shaping the field of candidates.
The Secretary of State can, for example, define the qualifications of candidates who wish to stand in the replacement ballot. In 2003, then Secretary of State Kevin Shelley set the bar low: 65 voter signatures and a $ 3,500 application fee. The result was a field of 135 circus-type candidates.