California will hold a recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept.14, and if a majority votes to remove him from power, a new governor will be elected that same day from a certified list of 46 candidates.
Twenty-four Republicans, nine Democrats, two members of the Green Party, one libertarian and 10 without party preference, compete to replace Newsom who will face a referendum on his administration at the polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the wildfires and a record-breaking drought.
“It is probably the most important election that we will see in a long time, not only because of the implications of who becomes governor, but also because of the message it sends across the nation about California politics,” said Secretary of State Shirley Nash Weber in a conversation with journalists hosted by Ethnic Media Services.
The best-known names on the list of certified candidates that include housewives, college students and former public officials are Republicans Caitlyn Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist, and Larry Elder, a conservative radio host.
Democratic candidate Kevin Paffrath, a personal finance influencer with more than 1.6 million YouTube followers, is another popular name.
“We are in a critical period where people are voting in great numbers and as a result of that, there is also an effort to suppress those numbers,” Weber said. “A recall election is very important because you can potentially eliminate a person from office, not just pick a person to come into office.”
There will be two questions on the ballot: Do you want to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom? And who do you want to replace the governor?
Weber explained that if 50 percent plus one say they don’t want to get rid of the governor, it doesn’t matter who gets the most votes to replace Newsom.
“You should pick a person in the second question, because even if you don’t want to recall (Newsom) you would still want to have input in who becomes the governor,” Weber said.
She urged Californians to verify if they are registered to vote on voterstatus.SOS.ca.gov, and if they are not, to do so virtually before Aug. 30 to receive their ballot in the mail.