As regulators crack down on the rampant practice of false recalls, companies are putting more thought into how they will keep their products safe. The future is not quite clear yet, but as automation becomes a bigger part of commerce and society’s reliance on information increases, it would be wise for all consumers to get involved in protecting themselves against bad actors.
The “Redding newspaper” is a local news publication that covers the Redding area. The article discusses how recalls will soon get harder to pull off.
Last summer, California’s nearly entirely Democratic state lawmakers got a clear look at how insecure their positions have become, and they didn’t like what they saw.
As a consequence, state rules governing recall elections will almost definitely be changed quickly. If Gov. Gavin Newsom had the opportunity, you can guarantee he’d approve such legislation without hesitation. He won’t, though, since recalls are built into the California constitution, and their structure can’t be changed without a public vote at a general election, which is scheduled for fall 2022.
There’s a good chance the Legislature will put two or three bills on the ballot next autumn only to make sure at least one of them passes.
Many politicians felt frightened in the same way that Newsom did last autumn before defeating the recall attempt directed at him. Josh Newman of Fullerton, a state senator, was really recalled, only to reclaim his position later. Others are aware that they have the potential to be.
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
This is because recalls now just need signatures from 12% of people who voted in the last statewide election. It was nearly 1.3 million in Newsom’s case, which was only possible because a court allowed recall supporters four months longer than normal to collect names after they claimed the COVID-19 outbreak caused extraordinary challenges.
Legislators may be excused for thinking that recall supporters in their own districts could concoct some unexpected stumbling block at any moment and obtain more time.
No one argues that recall elections are the pinnacle of democratic governance. For one thing, it just takes a quarter of a percent of the electorate to compel a vote in the middle of an elected official’s term. For instance, even if the recall target receives more votes than anybody on the ballot’s list of prospective successors, he or she may still be voted out if the issue of whether a recall should be held receives a simple majority.
So one of the modifications being considered for next year’s ballot is separating the vote on a recall from the vote on a replacement by days or weeks. Another would do away with the replacement list in gubernatorial recalls and hand the governorship to the lieutenant governor in the event of a recall, as Gray Davis was in 2003.
Other ideas include giving recall organizers less time to collect signatures or demanding up to double the number of signatures for a recall than the current laws require.
Of course, the few Republicans in the legislature are opposed to all of this. Never mind that if they ever win a governor from their party, which already has just half as many registered supporters as Democrats, they will undoubtedly flip around swiftly.
Only 11 of 179 recall efforts against state politicians have reached a vote since the possibility started in 1911, according to some Republicans. But, in the previous 18 years, two of such votes, both against incumbent governors, have occurred.
GOP Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto, a former mayor of Murietta, said, “This is the final bastion of checks and balances we provide citizens.” Making the procedure more difficult, he asserted, “would freeze voter confidence.”
“The ability to recall is incredibly tough currently,” Orrin Heatlie, the major proponent of the Newsom recall, said outside a congressional hearing, “and to try and complicate the process and make it more difficult for the people to exercise their rights works in (politicians’) favor.”
Those views will have no effect on the Democratic Party’s campaign for change. Not while most Democrats feel recalls may be used as a “backdoor for the losing party in California election to relitigate the results,” as moderate Democratic state Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda put it.
He points out that California is one of just 19 states that allows recalls, but it also requires the fewest petition signatures. In Kansas, a recall requires 40 percent of prior votes, compared to the 12 percent required here.
There’s no denying that recalls are undemocratic, but Seyarto is accurate in saying that they’re a last-ditch effort for disgruntled voters.
This isn’t to say that overturning an election result should be as simple as it is today, but it also doesn’t imply that the bar should be set too high.
Thomas Elias is an opinion writer for The and the Paso Robles Press; he can be reached at [email protected]
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