California Recall Elections: The Power of Average Citizens to Scrutinize Politicians
The fate of the California governor is hanging in the balance as he faces a recall election on September 14, 2021.
As the incumbent governor is afraid of facing voters’ wrath for mishandling various crises, including the wildfires and surging pandemic’s Delta variant, almost 46 candidates are challenging for the governor’s seat in what is considered as a purely Democratic state.
The call for the higher voter turnout in California is more vocal than ever in order to achieve maximum voter turnout to gauge the true sentiments of voters for Gavin Newsome.
As the Republicans’ advocacy efforts successfully obtained more than 1.7 million signatures on the petition against Gavin Newsom, this election on September 14 could be a deciding election of his political career.
California Recall Election: Governor Gavin Newsom is in Troubled Waters
Voter suppression has remained the primary tactic of some gubernatorial candidates to get to the highest seat.
The state has a blue inclination primarily, with every two out of three people supporting Democrats. This has made Get Out to Vote (GOTV) efforts essentially in favor of Democrats.
The rule is simple in California’s recall elections. The ballot paper asks one question from every voter; whether or not they want Newsom to continue in the office.
This is followed by the list of the 46 candidates, from which the voter has to pick one if (s)he answers “No” to the first question.
The Republican advantage is prominent in this regard that despite their statistical minority in the state, all of their voters would surely tick “No” for Newsome’s extension. However, Democrat voters would be split for or against the incumbent governor.
Those who want to vote for some other contesting Democrat would have to vote against the term extension of Newsome, exposing him to danger even from his Democratic voters.
So relying on the absolute numbers would do no favor to him. However, there are some numbers that show signs of hope for Newsome, at least up to some extent. Almost 58 percent of eligible voters suggested that their verdict would be in Newsom’s favor.
Are Democrats Promoting Voter Suppression Themselves this Time?
Gavin Newsom’s strategy of election campaigning is simple yet effective this time. He is asking voters to leave the flip side of the ballot empty.
This would help him as voters have to choose the new governor on the flipped side. When going to this route, he automatically suggests that they tick “No” on the question present on the first page.
Newson’s tactic of urging voters not to fill half of the ballot is raising eyebrows of some activists as well.
They are complaining that this Democratic effort, who otherwise portray themselves as the champion of voting rights, is an attempt to snatch the voting right from people.
Voting rights advocates are in full swing to increase voter turnout, as the event in the off-election year makes many voters unaware of the method.
Mail-in balloting would win the show this time, as the mail-in ballots have been sent to every registered voter in the state.
This is surely a victory for voting rights advocates. However, many people are still unaware of the actual voting procedures, as most voters still are not responding to mail-in balloting calls.
This is the reason why even Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in the mood to encourage voters from across the state to vote in a large turnout.
These efforts of the voting rights advocates may seem a partisan one because, for each one Republican voter, two Democrats are motivated due to the demography of the state, but this demography is not made by these activists.
The pro-voting organizations are using tactics like ads and billboard campaigns to hit the maximum audience.
However, relying on digital platforms can be the best way to increase turnout even on shorter notice.
The spending of millions of dollars on the GOTV campaign for recall elections evinces the scale of the advocacy campaigns running throughout the state.
The California wildfires could be the decisive factor in deciding the course of the recall elections. As the fire enters residential areas, it could also slash Newsom’s hopes as the timing of both the disaster and election overlaps.
Larry Elder remains the topmost contender of Newsom, from the Republicans, in the California recall elections.
Being a person of color, he can fetch a considerable amount of votes from the Black community as well, pushing him to the driver’s seat in case Newsom fails to cross the mark.