VOTE NO on the RECALL

by

My sister-in-law, Madeleine DeAndreis-Ayres, lives up in Siskiyou and wrote an op-ed piece for a local paper.  I shared it with some of the Board and got permission to share it here.  I’ve left the article as written.  If you want to drop your ballot off at the Registrar’s office, please go to the Calaveras Country Registrar’s office in San Andreas — not the one in Siskiyou. Rosemary Brock

VOTE NO on the RECALL

by Madeleine DeAndreis-Ayres

Here we go again. Another costly recall election when the sitting governor has a little more than a year left in office. Spearheaded by special interest Republicans, taxpayers are on the hook for $243 million dollars because a mere 12% of registered voters signed petitions triggering this power grab. Governor Newsom has not been convicted of or implicated in any crime so the justification for this waste of money, time, and resources can be summed up simply: Republicans cannot run a winnable candidate in the regular election so they are attempting to bust in through the back door. And they are doing it because they can.

How can they do it? A 110-year-old recall law, implemented at a time when the population of California was less than 3 million, gave voters the power to force a recall election. Why this law has not been revised since the last Republican power grab in 2003 is unclear, but it’s high time for California State legislators to update this law to reflect a state of nearly 40 million voters. We can’t fix that now but what you can do is VOTE NO when you fill out your ballot.

A NO vote answers the first question you will see on your ballot. It asks, “Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?” If you mark “NO” then all you need to do is send in your ballot either through the mail or drop it off at the County Clerk’s new location at 311 South 4th Street, Yreka on September 14th. You can vote in person at your usual polling location on September 14, 2021. You do not need to affix a stamp to your ballot if you wish to send it through the mail.

Why do we even have the recall as a tool in a democracy? When Governor Hiram Johnson, a Republican who served as the 23rd governor of California from 1911 to 1917, instituted a number of reforms to our state’s constitution to curb special interest influence in government he instituted the use of the recall process. Recall elections in their noblest form are used when an elected official has committed verifiable crimes and is a threat to the people and the government. Unfortunately, the current Republican party has seized on this process as a way to disrupt government and take over power to subvert the will of the majority.

Hiram Johnson did not envision the recall would be used as a bludgeoning tool for future special interest groups to remove a popular sitting governor, nor did he anticipate that the very party he represented would turn into one of those corrupt entities. Times change and the “Party of Lincoln” has now turned into the “Party of Trump” which bears no resemblance to the values of equality and fairness which Lincoln held so dear.

Part 1 of the ballot will be decided by a majority of the votes. If the majority of the votes are “NO’ for the recall, it means we will keep Gavin Newsom as our Governor. Should the “NO’S” not receive the majority of votes, the “winner” of the election will be decided by who gets the most votes, meaning our next governor could be elected by a very small fraction of those voting. You can, if you wish, vote NO on question #1 and then vote for one of the candidates in question #2. It is not required, but you might want to have a say.

There are 46 candidates, Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarian, and No Party Preference. Their specific backgrounds are varied and most have NO executive experience at all. And this novice would be in charge of the largest economy in the United States and the fifth largest in the world. Do we really want a “walk-on” to do this immense and important job?

In 2018, 61% of the voters gave Newsom the green light and that means well over half of our state’s voters trusted Newsom to lead our state. Leading our state through the COVID crisis, fires and all the other monumental issues our state faces requires a steady hand to maintain the gains we are making.

We have another gubernatorial election in 2022 so if the recall is enacted, whoever is elected will have one year in office. This recall makes no sense, we have a Governor who is working hard for all of us. Our county will spend thousands of dollars on this election, money that would be better used to do so many productive things.

It is extremely important to not sit out this election. Poor voter turnout could turn this state upside down and cause catastrophic damage to our state. Please, Vote NO on the recall.

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