CALIFORNIA, USA — A recent survey from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows Californians want improvements to the recall election process.
Following the failed attempt to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom last September, the bipartisan Little Hoover Commission held various public hearings on improving the current recall election process.
A survey done by the PPIC in November shows 86% of California's likely voters view having a way to recall the state's elected officials as a "good thing."
Following the survey, the PPIC's February report included four recommendations to improve the recall election process that requires voter approval in the state election.
Changing the signature requirement
- What is the current signature requirement? In the 2021 recall election, 1.5 million voters needed to sign the petition to qualify a recall for the ballot.
- What is the proposed signature requirement? Under the reform, the number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot would be 2.1 million signatures.
- Why this change? According to the PPIC, "in part, proponents noted that California has a lower vote threshold for qualifying recall elections compared to some other states."
- As of today, how many likely voters would vote yes on this change? 46%
Changing the replacement process
- What is the current replacement process? According to the PPIC, "currently, if a majority votes yes on part one of the recall ballot, the governor is removed from office and the candidate who receives the most votes on part two of the ballot assumes the governor’s office."
- What is the proposed replacement process? This change would eliminate the two-part ballot system and treat the recall as a snap election. In a snap election, the person in office subject to the recall is automatically placed on the same ballot with all of the replacement candidates.
- Why this change? According to the PPIC, “some view the two-part ballot as undemocratic since a candidate on part two could receive fewer votes in the recall than the recalled official received in their initial election.”
- As of today, how many likely voters would vote yes on this change? 42%
Extending the timeframe
- What is the current timeframe for conducting a recall election? 60-90 days
- What is the proposed timeframe for conducting a recall election? 88 days to no more than 125 days
- Why this change? According to the PPIC, “Some county elections officials said that they were under great time pressure to administer the special statewide election in September 2021.”
- As of today, how many likely voters would vote yes on this change? 44%
Limiting the timeframe
- What is the process currently? In the current recall process, recall proponents can file papers to begin the process at any time during an official’s tenure.
- What is the proposed recommendation? To prohibit the initiation of recall proceedings against state officeholders during the first 90 days and last six months of their term.
- Why this change? According to the PPIC, "some believe that a special election to remove an officeholder is not really needed if it is close to a recent regular election or to one that will be happening soon."
- As of today, how many likely voters would vote yes on this change? 48%
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