A complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California argues that the state’s recall provision violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by allowing sitting governors to be replaced by candidates who have received fewer votes. Gubernatorial recalls in California involve a two-part ballot. Voters are asked whether to recall the sitting governor, then who should replace the governor. If a majority of voters oust Newsom, whichever candidate receives the most votes on the second question would replace him.
That allows a replacement candidate to be elected with a small plurality — and potentially with far fewer votes than the number of votes cast to keep the current governor. Constitutional law expert Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, raised that precise scenario in a New York Times op-ed last week arguing California’s recall process is unconstitutional.
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Two California voters are challenging the legality of the state’s recall system less than a month before the Sept. 14 election https://t.co/1t5CWkPE2x
— POLITICO (@politico) August 17, 2021