Turnout will decide recall election -

Important vote is simpler than it seem


Although ballots don’t precisely indicate the race or ethnicities of those who cast them, in estimates of voting so far, Sonenshein said, “White voters are overrepresented and Latino voters underrepresented.”

He recommended free daily updates on voter participation available from the organization Political Data Intelligence at https://www.politicaldata.com/online-counts-reports/.

Weber described various aspects of the voting process.

She discussed how there will be cameras monitoring the tabulation process, wherein a machine separates the ballots from envelopes, and what to do if your ballot is lost or spoiled (contact local registrar of voters).

And you can track the progress of your vote once you’ve cast it at her office’s website: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status.

“This is such an important election,” she said. “Whatever you do,” she said, “be sure you vote for number one” (the first question, about whether or not to recall the governor), “because that really starts whether there’s going to be a recall or not.”

The state will tally up the votes for the replacement governor, she said, even if the recall vote is defeated: “We’ll count the votes, but it’s immaterial.”

The recall process was first devised in Los Angeles County in the late 1800s, Sonenshein said. It proved popular in local districts across the state, along with the initiative process to create new legislation and the referendum process to eliminate them. In 1911, California made all three processes available statewide.

In the 110 years since then, Sonenshein said, there have been 179 attempted recalls of state officials, but only 11 of them got enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot.

One of the unique things about this “critically, urgently important” 2021 recall election, Sonenshein said, is that a court last year gave recall petition signature-gatherers an extra four months to get the recall qualified to be on the ballot, in light of COVID-19 pandemic-related difficulties in gathering signatures.

An inexplicable oddity of California’s original 1911 recall legislation, Sonenshein said, is that the election for someone to replace someone being subjected to the recall is conducted simultaneously, and “it is incredibly easy to become a candidate.”

But for elected officials facing a recall, he said, “it’s terrifying!”

To get on the ballot, a would-be governor has to pay a $3,500 filing fee, or gather 10,000 signatures from a political party. Most pay the fee.

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