The California Gubernatorial Recall Election

Maha Sanad, Social Media Editor

The Importance of Voter Turnout and the Upcoming Recall Election with CSUEB Political Science Professors, Dr. Danvy Le and Dr. Elizabeth Bergman

The Republican-backed recall election to remove California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Republicans in California have disagreed with many of Newsom’s progressive initiatives and policies for as long as he’s been in office, since 2018. However, his policies for COVID-19 seemed to have been the breaking point for Republicans in California.

Last year, at the peak of COVID-19 restrictions, Newsom fell into controversy with Republicans. Already frustrated at his social distancing policies, stay-at-home mandates, and the mask mandate, Republicans had enough after The French Laundry controversy.

On the evening of Nov. 6, 2020, Newsom attended a birthday dinner party at an upscale Napa Valley restaurant called The French Laundry. After photos of that dinner were released showing Newsom socializing and maskless, Republicans were even more outraged than usual at Newsom.

Believing Newsom to be a hypocrite for making Californians follow COVID-19 mandates while he went to dinner parties, Republicans collected 1.7 million signatures on a petition to recall Governor Newsom.

It is important to point out that compared to presidential elections, voter turnout for smaller and more local elections is relatively low.

Let’s make one thing clear: voter turnout is important in EVERY election. It is especially crucial to have high voter turnout for this recall election because of how much impact the Governor of California has on local communities.

The current predicted winner of the recall election is conservative radio host, Larry Elder. Elder is the polar opposite of California’s Gov. Newsom on the political spectrum. From calling immigrants “illegal aliens,” banning abortion, opposing gun control, to denying the existence of systemic racism, this is just scratching the surface of Elder’s right-wing views.

Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1 in California. However, with current low voter turnout from Democrats, Larry Elder is predicted if Newsom is recalled.

So why should you care?
Besides Elder’s previously mentioned views, Dr. Elizabeth Bergman, Political Science professor, explained how Newsom being replaced by Elder would affect us here at California State University, East Bay.

With Elder as California Governor, there will be less state funding for higher education, particularly the CSU System, Bergam said. “Larry Elder, the leading candidate to replace Newsom, does not support public higher education. He believes high school is sufficient,” she explained.

Assistant professor of Political Science at CSUEB, Dr. Danvy Le agreed, “Newsom has been supportive of many initiatives that support the needs of Hayward and CSUEB students; a new governor from the list of candidates will likely pursue an agenda that does not align with our community and/or campus values.”

With how the campaigns are proceeding, Elder is going to win and California will change whether you acknowledge it or not. These changes that will affect the East Bay, California and the nation as a whole will be, as Le puts it, “frightening to fathom.”

When asked about their personal thoughts on this recall election, both Le and Bergman agree that it is counterproductive. “It’s a waste of taxpayer money and takes time away from actual legislating that needs to be done in order for our state to run efficiently,” Le detailed.

Bergman believes idle minds to be the culprit of the unproductiveness of this recall election, “We are an unserious nation full of bored people.”

The good news is that there is still time to vote!
Voter turnout is important in every election but based on all the election news, it is especially crucial in this recall election.

Both Le and Bergman believe that higher voter turnout will be the saving grace of this election; “EVERY vote matters,” Bergman discussed.

If you’re still not convinced to go out and vote in this election, Le highlighted, “This special election hinges on turning out to vote… College students should turnout because who is in office directly affects their lives — it affects funding for our campus, voting is investing in your future. People most likely to turnout to vote in this special election are older, white males. Is that who you want to be making the decisions that affect your life?”

Voting is as convenient as ever and can be done by mail or voting in-person on September 14. The deadline to register for receiving a mail-in ballot is August 30. If you do choose to vote in person on election day, it won’t take long as there are only two questions on the ballot.

It is our civil duty to participate in federal, local, and state politics. It’s important to use your voice, especially in local politics, or else our right to have a say in government completely goes to waste.

Do your part and go out and vote in this recall election. The future of California depends on it.
For more information about the four leading candidates, go here.
For updates on the latest polls of the California Recall Election, go here.