There is something strange about the recall election of California governor Gavin Newsom coming up next month.
In fact, it you want to argue about unfair elections this one might be the one to look at. Newsom was elected to a first term in 2018 with about 61 percent of the vote and he won by a solid THREE million votes against his Republican counterpart. Impressive numbers even in rock-solid blue California.
But our largest state by population has a strange set of rules in its constitution and one of them is that a recall vote can be initiated if anyone in the state gathers the signatures of 12 percent of the number of total votes in the last gubernatorial election. No reason has to be given and no reason was given aside from the fact that Newsom took some appropriate, but unpopular steps with some, regarding protection from Covid.
If my math is right, they need about 1.1 million voters, still way less than Newsom's victory margin, to force a recall election. Once those signatures are certified, a vote is scheduled and voters who show up--and experts predict that many less interested voters will not show up--get asked two questions. One is do you want to recall the governor. If one more person than 50 percent votes yes, the second question, asking them to select from nearly four dozen people, comes into play.
So, as a column in The New York Times points out, Newsom can lose the first question by, say, 10 votes and be replaced by a candidate in the second vote who has, maybe, five percent of the total vote.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, 46 people includes quite a few interesting characters, who managed to get on the ballot by gathering just 7,000 legitimate signatures and paying a $4,000 fee.
They include Kaitlyn Jenner, the transgender Olympic gold medal winner who has said she wants her privacy but always seems to be in the public eye, Larry Elder, a conservative radio talk show host and several people who want California to secede from the union. Unfortunately for the rest of us, a couple of porn stars, apparently, decided not to run.
Cmon, wouldn't it be cool if the state of California was run by a porn star?
Oh, by the way, this upcoming vote is costing the Golden State about $300 million to pull off, even though another, legitimate, gubernatorial election is slated for next November.
Just my angle.