By Manny Otiko, IVN
Statewide — Two Sec. of State’s Office employees recently met with members of the ethnic press to discuss the upcoming gubernatorial recall election. The event was a last-minute press conference to field questions about the recall. The recall is scheduled for Sept. 14. Even though the recall is going to be next week, there are still many questions about the event.
Joe Kocurek, who works in the communications office, and Jana Lean, who works in the elections division, took questions from several members of the ethnic press during the event that was hosted by Ethnic Media Services. The questions focused on when the results will be officially confirmed, voting locations, requirements for getting a recall on the ballot, and write-in candidates.
Kocurek said that the voting level is similar to the last election.
“We are looking at a turnout that’s on par with the November election,” said Kocurek. “People are interested and activated.”
He partly attributed that to media coverage of the recall.
One of the questions raised was about the seriousness of the candidates in the recall election. The recall has 36 candidates and it’s obvious that some candidates are only in it for publicity.
Larry Elder, the leading candidate to replace Newsom, has never served in office and seems to be using the recall as an excuse to raise his profile by making outrageous statements to the media. Also, he only threw his hat into the race about two months ago.
Kocurek suggested that Sacramento political leaders might need to reform the recall process by making the rules more stringent.
“It’s a question that needs to be addressed by the legislature,” he said.
Here are some interesting facts about the recall:
- The cost of the recall is estimated at $276 million.
- The official results will be announced 38 days after the election.
- Voters have two choices on the recall. One is, should Gov. Gavin Newsom stay in office? And if not, who do you want to replace him? Newsom cannot be a candidate for the replacement. If voters write in Newsom as the replacement, it won’t count. If Newsom gets 50 percent of the vote, he will remain governor.
- To get a recall put on the ballot, you need 12% of the total votes of the winner of the last election.
- Californians have several ways to cast their ballots. They can vote in person at their local precinct, they can cast their ballot through the mail or at an early voting location, or they can deposit their ballot in a dropbox. There is a list of dropboxes posted on the Sec. of State’s website.
- One percent of the votes cast will be hand-counted to see if they match up with the machine-counted votes.
Several polls show that Newsom will retain his office. Newsom has called in national political figures to campaign for him. Two former presidential candidates, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) have cut ads supporting Newsom.
However, it seems Republicans are already preparing to cast doubt on the election. Several commentators on FOX News Channel have already started suggesting that if Newsom wins, it’s because of rigging.
“The only thing that will save Gavin Newsom is voter fraud,” said Lahren on a recent episode of “Outnumbered.” “Pay attention to the voter fraud going on in California because it’s gonna have big consequences not only for that state, but for upcoming elections. Every bad idea originates in California, and that just happens to be where Kamala is from. No coincidence there.”
Former President Donald Trump supported her allegation.
“It’s probably rigged,” said Trump in a Newsmax interview. “They’re sending out all ballots, the ballots are mail-in ballots; in fact, I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot. When that happens no one is going to win except these Democrats.”
Neither Trump nor Lahren offered any evidence to back up their allegations.
Inland Valley News coverage of local news in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support minority-owned-and-operated community newspapers across California.