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Gov. Gavin Newsom Wins California Recall as Pressure Mounts for System Overhaul

Gov. Gavin Newsom Wins California Recall as Pressure Mounts for System Overhaul

California Governor Gavin Newsom won Tuesday’s recall vote by a considerable margin, thwarting the Republican attempt to take over leadership of the state, according to Vox.

Newsom won more than 60 percent of the vote, comfortably surpassing the 50 percent threshold required for him to stay in office. Those who favored Newsom’s removal had a choice of 46 other candidates, including the 2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, celebrity Caitlyn Jenner, and conservative talk show radio host Larry Elder as the frontrunner. 

Election experts have voiced concerns over the ease with which the California GOP was able to initiate a recall vote, and many argue that the system is in need of an overhaul. 

“Yesterday’s election highlighted the fundamentally undemocratic nature of California’s existing recall process,” said Marc Berman, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Elections. “California laws should not allow an elected official to be recalled and replaced by someone else who receives far fewer votes.”

Moreover, such recall votes come with a hefty price tag. In July, the state’s Department of Finance estimated that the election would cost $276 million, though earlier this week, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said the actual cost for tax payers amounted to more than $300 million, according to ABC News. 

Reforming the state’s recall system – established over a century ago – is no easy task. The California legislature would have to pass a proposed amendment to its Constitution with two-thirds majority in the Assembly and the Senate. That amendment would then make its way onto a statewide ballot. Current rules require signatures from only 12 percent of registered voters in order to force a recall vote, according to the Associated Press.

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