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Why does a recall election cost so much? | Why Guy

Later this year, residents will cast their vote on whether or not they want to recall Gov. Newsom. Current estimates for the recall are $400 million.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today's Why Guy question comes in from Aimee McKinney on Facebook, who asks, "why does a recall cost so much? There is my Why Guy question."

Aimee, a recall is a special election, so there's unplanned costs. Vote by mail ballots have to be printed and mailed, so there's printing cost and postage. Voting centers have to be rented out and election employees paid. 

Elections are usually every two to four years, so to schedule another one that's state wide is expensive. The cost will depend on whom you ask. The state should have an official estimate as to how much the upcoming recall could cost sometime in June.

"Sacramento County anticipates a recall election can cost as much as $4-5 million just for our county," Janna Haynes, spokesperson with Sacramento County, said.

California has 58 counties, each with their own needs and population. Then one has to consider adding to those costs COVID-19 safety protocols.

The last time California recalled a Governor was 2003. The cost back then was about $60 million. Current estimates for this recall are as high as $400 million.

So, how much did the last recall cost Sacramento County?

"We weren't able to find any substantial records for what the last recall cost us in 2003," Haynes said. "All I found were election cost summaries between November 2002 and March 2004 which put us around $3.7 million."

California is only one of 19 states that allow recall elections of state officials, which doesn't have an emergency fund or budget to cover it. Taxpayer dollars foot the bill.

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