Reject legislation to stymie recall elections
How would you like to sign a petition to recall an elected official and then get a knock on the door from a supporter of that official, asking if you’d like to reconsider?
That’s what could happen if Sacramento Democrats succeed in their effort to quickly pass changes to the state’s long-standing procedures for recall elections.
State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, is facing a recall effort for his April 6 vote in favor of the tax increase on gasoline and diesel fuel and vehicle registrations. The recall effort, organized by San Diego radio talk show host and former city councilman Carl DeMaio, has been openly described by DeMaio as an effort to break the Democrats’ supermajority in Sacramento by going after the “slowest gazelle.”
Newman narrowly defeated Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang in November to win the seat, which had been held by termed-out Senate Republican leader Bob Huff.
Under existing law, the Secretary of State’s Office receives signed recall petitions from county elections officials and then has 10 days to transmit a certificate to the county showing the total number of signatures collected by the proponents.
Under the proposed law, the secretary of state would transmit a notice instead of a certificate, and voters who signed the petition would have 30 business days to withdraw their signatures.
The new law would be retroactive and would take effect immediately. Newman said it would provide a “buffer period” during which “we can go out and find out who among the signers did not do this intentionally or who was falsely persuaded to do so and give them a chance to remove it.”
That sounds an awful lot like voter intimidation. Soon canvassers could be knocking on the doors of everyone who signed the recall petitions and interrogating the surprised voters about where they signed and what they were […]