Efforts to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom fail amid calls to make it harder for California to recall public officials

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Efforts to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom fail amid calls to make it harder for California to recall public officials
California Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses reporters after beating back the recall attempt that aimed to remove him from office, at the John L. Burton California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
  • Five efforts to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom failed before a sixth petition sparked a recall election.
  • He was quickly projected the winner Tuesday night. Just 19 states allow recall elections.
  • On election night, US Rep. Karen Bass argued it was too easy to recall officials in California.

Less than an hour after polls closed Tuesday evening, Insider and Decision Desk HQ projected that Californians overwhelmingly voted against recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom. The decisive outcome came as some questioned whether the efforts to recall public officials should be made more difficult.

Five attempts to recall Newsom failed before a sixth petition, led by a retired sheriff's sergeant, Orrin Heatlie, and his California Patriot Coalition, collected the required number of signatures on July 1 and triggered the recall election.

US Rep. Karen Bass, a California Democrat, gave an interview with the ABC News anchor Linsey Davis in which she argued it's too easy to recall officials in California, saying more than 68 recall efforts were targeting officials in various levels of government in California, including school boards, city councils, and district attorneys.

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California is one of just 19 states that allow recall elections. Within 60 days, petitioners recalling a California official must collect signatures from 12% of the electorate from the last election and from at least five counties.

"This could be a strategy to essentially grind government to a halt, to paralyze government," Bass said. "I'm very interested in analyzing who started all these recalls. Who's funding them? You can't just recall someone without significant financial backing."

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