One Big Thing: Do you think recall elections strengthen or weaken democracy?
Join us and take our poll
Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom has come under fire and faces a recall election following criticism of his handling of the pandemic and business restrictions, worsening housing and homelessness crises, and cost of living. The petition was signed by just over the 12 percent of California’s voting population needed to trigger such an event. If it goes forward, this would remove Newsom as governor and prompt a special recall election to be held in which voters will be asked two questions: “(1) Should the elected official be removed from office and (2) If the official is removed, who should take their place?” If over 50% of the respondents vote yes on the first question, the candidate who wins the most votes will replace him. Last time this happened in California, Arnold Schwarzenegger won the special recall election and became governor.
Recall elections can be a useful tool by which citizens can express their voices in a democracy. Between elections, they can serve as a check on politician’s power and performance and unlike an impeachment, recall elections allows voters to decide directly whether or not to keep an elected official.