During the first half of 2019, Ballotpedia’s coverage of recalls showed a downturn in total efforts compared to the midway points in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Through June 27, Ballotpedia covered 72 recall efforts against 115 officials. During similar time periods in the previous three years, a minimum of 134 efforts (2017) and a maximum of 189 efforts (2016) were covered. Between 178 and 265 officials were targeted for recall during the first half of those three years.
Despite having fewer recalls overall, 2019 did see a higher percentage of recall efforts targeting state legislators compared to the previous three years. Halfway through 2016, 2017, and 2018, state legislative recalls accounted for approximately 2% of recalls. In 2019, however, state legislators accounted for 8% of the year’s recall efforts.
In other ways, however, 2019 matched previous years’ recall statistics. As in 2016, 2017, and 2018, California led the way with the highest number of officials targeted for recall in 2019, and city council officials also drew the focus of more recall petitions than any other group.
Of the recall efforts covered in the first half of 2019, 37% were still underway as of June 27 and another 11% had recall elections scheduled. Conversely, 17% of the efforts did not make it to the ballot. Another 15% of the recall efforts had made it to the ballot and been approved, while 10% made it to the ballot but were defeated.