The Californians will decide on Tuesday at the polls if they want their governor Gavin Newsom remain in office or if they prefer another candidate to take office until the end of their term in January 2023.
How does this vote work in the most populous and wealthiest state in USA?
What is the question?
There are two. The first is: “Should Gavin Newsom be removed from the governorship?”. You can only answer “Yes” or “No”, and the option that wins a simple majority (50% plus one) wins.
If “No” wins, everything continues as it is and Newsom has another 18 months of mandate ahead of him.
If “Yes” wins, the second question on the ballot comes into play: “Who should replace him?”. Whoever gets the most votes among the 46 candidates wins the Interior, no matter how small the number of votes they receive.
Who are the candidates?
Newsom is enabled to apply. His Democratic party has not officially endorsed any candidate.
Most of the opponents belong to the Republican party. Leading the polls is radio star Larry Elder, a black attorney who benefited from affirmative action and is now attacking her.
Also featured are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the candidate who lost the 2018 election to Newsom, John Cox, and television star Caitlyn Jenner.
The list also includes a YouTuber named Kevin Paffrath, famous for parading in a fuchsia Corvette, and a Green Party candidate whose campaign slogan is: “Do you like this?”
Didn’t Newsom win his election?
With ease. In 2018, he got nearly 62% of the vote over John Cox, who received 38%.
That majority is not surprising, because California tends to the left. Members of the Democratic party outnumber those of the Republican by a ratio of two to one.
The mandate of Newsom ends in January 2023.
So why are they voting again?
All the governors of California in the last five decades have faced at least one recall referendum attempt. They generally fail.
But the new electoral rules in California made it easier to activate that mechanism: the discontents only need to collect a number of signatures equivalent to 12% of the voters who participated in the last election. In this case, that percentage equaled 1.5 million people. California’s population is 40 million.
Before, there were several attempts to revoke Newsom and it seemed they were going nowhere, even considering the pandemic and unpopular lockdown measures.
But images of him dining in a fancy restaurant in November, without a mask, and with other people, sparked anger and made it easy to collect signatures.
Is everyone happy with the recall?
Those who question the referendum say that the small number of signatures required to call a recall greatly facilitates the mechanism.
They also emphasize that a president could obtain 49.9% of support in that vote and be revoked, while his successor could come to power with even 15% of the votes.
The Democratic party says this is a recall pushed by its rival, the Republican party, in an attempt to hit the regional government, since they could not come to power in traditional circumstances.
Republicans deny that it is political rivalry and insist that many Californians are tired of Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly economically impacting small businesses and parents whose children stopped going to classrooms.
But if there is one thing many agree on, it is that the cost of this Tuesday’s vote, about 280 million dollars, is very high.
What is possible to happen?
History seems to be on the side of Newsom. Just a recall attempt on California succeeded. It was in 2003, when Governor Gray Davies was recalled and replaced by Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The muscular actor was the last Republican governor of the sunny state.
After a dubious start, Newsom it seems to be heading towards avoiding the same outcome. The survey portal fivethirtyeight.com gives you 55% of the votes in your favor.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.