Tuesday, June 1, 2021

My article in the Hill: The three big myths of Recall Elections -- and how two maybe wrong

Proponents of the recall against Gavin Newsom may be basing their efforts on three key myths about recall elections.

1) Recalls succeed in ousting officials

2) Special Elections are more likely to result in an official being removed

3) Turnout will drop 

I wrote an op-ed in the Hill that looks at all three of these myths. Only one – the first – is accurate for the Newsom recall. 

California has had 110 recall elections go to a vote over the last 10 years. 78.5% of them have resulted in removal. This is much higher than the nationwide number (the one-day/two-step process is not likely to be the cause, as Colorado uses the same procedure).

However, the other two points are not accurate for Newsom. Recalls held on a special election day do not result in a greater removal rate than those held on a general election day (a fact that surprised me).

Most importantly, turnout has not gone down for gubernatorial recalls. In every case, and in the case of high profile mayoral recalls, we’ve seen turnout shoot up. 

What does this mean? We'll see.

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