The recall of governor Gavin Newsom

The recall of governor Gavin Newsom

Photo Courtesy of Chris Delmas

On Sept. 14, the state of California decided whether or not Governor Gavin Newsom would be recalled from office. 

The process for a recall starts with a signing of a petition to see if the people want the governor to be recalled, then if the people vote in favor of recalling, an election is held to determine the new governor. If the people do not vote in favor of the recall, then nothing happens.

The actual voting happens through mail-in voting and at polling places. In Santa Clara County, both types of voting are controlled by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. Within the registrar of voters is Bren Lehr, the Elections Division Coordinator. Lehr and her division (Candidate Services) works with candidates running for office to assist them during election periods, ensure that they follow all guidelines, and also assists with the certification of election results.

The recall process is complicated, with multiple steps, but it always begins with a group of people filing for a recall. They then have a specified amount of time to collect a number of signatures equal to 12 percent of the votes the governor got in the previous election. If the recall has enough signatures, then the governor will put out an election notice, and then the official date for the recall is set. 

To date, there have been 54 previous attempts to recall a governor in has and it has only succeeded one time — the 2003 recall of Gray Davis. 

The estimated costs reported by counties to administer this statewide special recall election were $215.2 million.

“I would like to see the full election timeline to be closer to the end of an elected official’s term,” said Lehr. “Since by the time the full recall process is finished, said official is usually at the end of their term.”

With Governor Newsom’s term ending in one year, it would have saved a lot of taxpayer money to simply wait until the actual election to vote him out of office.

At Fremont High School, students and teachers have a variety of opinions concerning the recall. While some believed that Newsom should not have been recalled, others are not so sure. 

“I think it’s ridiculous to have a governor for one year before another election,” FHS biology teacher Amanda Day said. “What’s the point if there is going to be another election in a year?”

An important part of the recall process is voting for someone who will replace the recalled governor, but many do not think this is important as the real question is voting yes or no on the recall itself.

Other teachers at Fremont voiced similar sentiments. 

“If you want to change, then just wait till the real election comes around instead of jumbling things up amid a crazy pandemic,” math teacher Bradley Scholten said.  

Scholten says he leans left, however, he does hold reservations regarding leaving the replacement question on the ballot blank. 

“I know that the Democratic party has done a terrible job telling us who to vote for if the recall comes through,” Scholten said. “And so now we’re probably going to get stuck with some random person if it turns out that the recall happens.”

FHS students appear to focus less on the monetary costs of running the special election and instead look at whether or not Newsom is a good governor. 

“I don’t think he should be recalled,” FHS Freshman Neakail David said. “Because he never did anything wrong.”