Tagcalifornia

Stories about California

Recall against San Francisco school board members approved to circulate petitions

The San Francisco Department of Elections approved petition circulation to begin this week in the effort to recall part of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. Three members—Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga—were named in the recall paperwork. Recall supporters have until September 7 to collect 51,325 signatures.

Recall supporters said they were frustrated that schools in the district remained closed for nearly a year in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also criticized the board for spending time voting to rename 44 district buildings. On February 21, López announced that the board was putting the building renaming on hold in order to focus on re-opening schools.

All three board members named in the recall petitions were first elected to the board on November 6, 2018. They received the most votes in the at-large election and defeated 16 other candidates. The other four members of the board were not eligible for recall at the same time as López, Collins, and Moliga since they had not served in their current terms for six months yet. They were either elected or re-elected to the board on November 3, 2020.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 276 elected officials. Of the 50 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 30 were recalled for a rate of 60%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Five candidates running in a special primary election for California Assembly District 79

A special primary election is being held on April 6 for California Assembly District 79. Marco Contreras (R), Aeiramique Glass Blake (D), Leticia Munguia (D), Shane Parmely (D), and Akilah Weber (D) are running in the primary election. California holds top-two primary elections. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will advance to the general election on June 8, regardless of party affiliation. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary election, the general election will be canceled and the candidate will be elected to office.

The special election was called after Shirley Weber (D) left office due to her appointment as California Secretary of State by Gov. Gavin Newson (D). The previous secretary of state—Alex Padilla (D)—resigned following his appointment to the United States Senate. Newsom formally appointed Weber to the office on Jan. 18, and the California legislature unanimously confirmed Weber as the first Black person to hold this position on Jan. 28. Weber served in the state Assembly from 2012 until she was sworn in as secretary of state on Jan. 29.

California has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the California State Assembly by a margin of 58-19, with one independent member and two vacancies.

As of March 2021, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. California held 32 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.

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1.19 million signatures verified in Newsom recall

On March 19, the California Secretary of State’s office released an update on signature verification in the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). According to the official report, 1.834 million signatures were turned in through March 11. Of those, 1.188 million were deemed valid. Another 380,060 signatures remain unprocessed. At least 1,495,709 signatures must be deemed valid to trigger a recall election.

According to media reports, recall organizers said they turned in more than 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 deadline. At the current verification rate of about 82%, that would amount to 1.722 million valid signatures, which would be enough to trigger the recall election.

Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election without needing a majority of votes cast. In the 2003 recall, 135 candidates ran and Schwarzenegger received 48.58 percent of the vote.



One year ago, California became the first state to issue a stay-at-home order

One year ago, as the novel coronavirus spread across the country, California became the first state to order residents to stay home unless engaged in essential activities. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued the order on March 19, 2020. Over the following three weeks, 42 governors would follow suit. South Carolina was the last state to issue an order on April 7. All 24 Democratic governors and 19 out of 26 Republican governors issued stay-at-home orders in their states.

Seven states—Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming—did not issue stay-at-home orders.

Although the specifics of each order varied from state to state, they all closed broad categories of businesses and required residents to stay home unless going to the store for essential supplies or working in essential businesses.

Alaska ended its stay-at-home order on April 24, while Montana and Colorado did so on April 26. By June 29, we classified all but two stay-at-home orders as expired. We classified New Mexico’s and California’s stay-at-home orders as expired in November and December, respectively.



Newsom recall signature deadline next week

The organizers of an effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) have until March 17 to turn in signatures in an attempt to get the recall on the ballot. To trigger a recall election, organizers must turn in 1,495,709 signatures, which is equal to 12% of the total votes cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election. If supporters turn in enough valid signatures to trigger a recall election, the additional procedural steps dictate a recall election take place within 60 to 80 days of signature verification.

In the most recent reporting period that ended Feb. 5, the California Secretary of State had reviewed 798,310 signatures and deemed 668,202 of those valid. At the time of the report, there were still 296,147 signatures submitted that had not yet been reviewed. According to media reports, recall organizers had turned in more than 1.9 million signatures to the secretary of state’s office as of March 3.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. Should voters approve a recall, whichever candidate receives the most votes on the second question would win outright.

Recall supporters say Newsom mishandled the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, did not do enough to address the state’s homelessness rate, and supported sanctuary city policies and water rationing. In December 2020, a spokesman for Newsom said President Donald Trump’s (R) supporters were behind the recall effort, which he also said would cost the state $100 million and distract from efforts to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine and reopen schools.

Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.



California Secretary of State verifies 668,000 signatures submitted for gubernatorial recall

On Feb. 19, the California Secretary of State’s office released the latest signature report in the campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). As of Feb. 5, the secretary’s office validated 668,202 signatures of the 798,310 signatures that it processed, with another 296,147 submitted but not yet processed. So far, 83.7 percent of signatures processed by the state have been deemed valid. Supporters have until March 17, 2021, to collect the 1,495,709 signatures needed to trigger a recall election.

Recall supporters say Newsom mishandled the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, did not do enough to address the state’s homelessness rate, and supported sanctuary city policies and water rationing. In June 2020, Newsom said President Donald Trump’s (R) supporters were behind the recall effort, which he also said would cost the state $81 million.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required.

Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement. In the 2003 recall of Davis, 135 candidates ran and Schwarzenegger received 48.58 percent of the vote.

Between 1921 and 2020, four gubernatorial recall efforts have qualified for the ballot: 1921 (North Dakota), 1988 (Arizona), 2003 (California), and 2012 (Wisconsin). Of those, only two resulted in the sitting governor’s removal from office (Lynn Frazier in North Dakota and Davis in California). In the 1988 Arizona recall, the recall election was canceled following the governor’s impeachment.



Seven candidates running in special primary election for California Senate District 30

The special primary election for California Senate District 30 is on March 2, 2021. Seven candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for May 4. The filing deadline to run passed on January 7.

California holds top-two primary elections. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

The special election was called after Holly Mitchell (D) left office to become the District 2 representative on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Mitchell represented District 30 in the state Senate from 2013 to 2020.

California has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the California State Senate by a margin of 30-9, with one vacancy. 

As of February 2021, 26 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. California held 32 special elections from 2010 to 2020.

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February 16 is next official reporting deadline in Gavin Newsom recall effort

A campaign is underway to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Supporters have until March 17 to collect 1,495,709 valid signatures to trigger a recall election. The next official monthly reporting period ends on February 16. On Feb. 10, organizers of the recall effort reported they had collected more than 1.5 million signatures. The deadline for counties to verify these signatures after organizers submit them is April 29.

As of Jan. 6, the end of the last monthly reporting period, supporters had turned in 723,886 signatures. Of those, 485,650 had been processed by the secretary of state, with 75,563 deemed invalid. This meant that supporters had turned in at least 410,087 valid signatures as of Jan. 6.

Recall supporters say Newsom mishandled the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, did not do enough to address the state’s homelessness rate, and supported sanctuary city policies and water rationing. In June 2020, Newsom said President Donald Trump’s (R) supporters were behind the recall effort, which he also said would cost the state $81 million.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Gavin Newsom be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required.

Five other recall efforts against Newsom have failed to make the ballot since 2019. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only other gubernatorial recall election in California history was the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis (D) that resulted in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) election. More than 100 candidates ran and Schwarzenegger won with 48.58% of the vote.

Between 1921 and 2020, four gubernatorial recall efforts have qualified for the ballot: 1921 (North Dakota), 1988 (Arizona), 2003 (California), and 2012 (Wisconsin). Of those, only two resulted in the sitting governor’s removal from office (Lynn Frazier in North Dakota and Davis in California). In the 1988 Arizona recall, the recall election was canceled following the governor’s impeachment.