BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Since 1911 when the state of California approved recalls in a reform package, there have been 55 attempts to recall a California governor.
"People have the ability in California to use the recall mechanism to do extraordinary things in extraordinary times," said Recall Gavin 2020 campaign spokesperson Randy Economy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced Gray Davis in 2003, the only successful recall so far. On September 14 though, that could change.
There have been six attempted recall petitions since Governor Gavin Newsom came into office in 2019. A minimum of 1,495,709 valid petition signatures were needed. That number is equal to 12% of the votes cast in the 2018 election for governor.
The successful recall campaign was started by Orrin Heatlie, a retired sheriff’s sergeant from Yolo County. He and his group, the California Patriot Coalition, first became concerned with Governor Newsom’s opposition to the Trump administration’s crackdowns on undocumented immigrants.
Economy said efforts like theirs do make a difference in today’s politics.
"Democracy still matters in California. Grassroots politics is still the bane of our existence. It is still the cornerstone of any campaign," he said.
On July 1 of this year, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber certified the petition had enough valid signatures. Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis then issued the proclamation calling the California gubernatorial recall election.
There are 46 candidates running in this election, nine democrats and 24 republicans
County officials have 30 days after election day to certify and submit results to the Secretary of State.
Kern County Registrar of Voters Mary Bedard said there are no concerns regarding this election. In fact, she said there are certain steps taken that should reassure voters.
"I really do think that [if] people understand all the controls that are built into the system, they would have a lot of confidence in the integrity of the election," said Berdard.
One control California has in place includes randomly taking 1% of all precincts and doing a hand count. That is then compared to the machine vote count. Berdard said in doing this, no tabulation errors were found in the November 2020 election.
By October 22, the Secretary of State will certify the recall election.
Economy said regardless of what your vote is, it’s crucial you participate in this election.
“Your vote does matter and you can not take this election lightly," he said. "You need to do your responsibility to actually fill that ballot out and turn it in.”