Vote Now, Recall Ballot
By Dianne Anderson
With this off election, the ballots have already come in the mail and are all ready for the ink.
Voters are now deciding if Democrat Gavin Newsom stays in office, or turns his seat over to a new – possibly Republican – Governor, but Kristin Washington said it’s important to keep the process simple.
Vote No on the Recall Ballot means Gov. Newsom continues as Governor.
Kristin Washington, chair of the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee, said their candidate is in question number one.
“We want to vote No on question number one. Just sign it and send it back,” she said. “Don’t even get caught up in the list of how many people are running to unseat the Governor.”
Above all, participation is critical, she said. The Democratic Party as a whole has struggled to get voters out in any off election, and African Americans are needed to vote now as much as in the big elections.
“Don’t just leave it on the kitchen table, fill it out and send it back, we’re trying to up that number [participants] the best we can,” she said.
She usually drives her ballot directly to the Registrar of Voters to make sure that it gets in the big box, but voters should make sure they cast their ballot any way they can, by mailman, or by friend or relative if they can’t get to the drop off locations directly.
Washington is also reminding the community that Newsom has supported the community with the appointment of Dr. Shirley Weber as the first Black woman to serve as the state’s Secretary of State. Also, he appointed Dr. Nadine Burk Harris for the state’s brand new role of Surgeon General, and she is also the first African American woman in that position.
Other important moves that Newsom made are good for the whole community, she said, and especially benefited the Black community.
“In addition to the way the Governor has navigated COVID, he made sure that we had stimulus checks. The renter assistance program is the largest one in the country, and small business relief is also the largest,” she said.
Small businesses, particularly in sectors where the Black community is more heavily represented, also enjoyed Newsom’s support.
“We have hairdressers barbershops restaurants and others, we want to pay attention to the relief, that benefits our community. That’s him looking out for us, as well as the whole state,” she said.
Newsom’s recall is based on a Republican-initiated petition citing why they feel that Gov. Newsom should be removed from office.
The ballot is also not quite worded in the expected way, which can be confusing. Also, there are 46 candidates on the recall ballot, including the name of one candidate who dropped out of the race after he had a heart attack.
If over 50% vote “yes” to remove Newsom, then he will be removed. Down the ballot, the question is which of the 46 candidates should replace him. If Newsom is recalled, the candidate with the most votes wins no matter how small the percentage.
Voter registration is easy, and voters have until August 30 to register at RegisterToVote.ca.gov, and they can check their registration status at VoterStatus.sos.ca.gov.
Election Day, Tuesday, September 14, the polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but the San Bernardino Registrar of Voters is urging voters to vote before Election Day to avoid potential wait time in lines.
Betsy Starbuck, president of the League of Women Voters, said while their organization is nonpartisan, one big question that all voters need to ask themselves is whether they want to see a change in this one position of state government.
Timing is another issue, and might be catching people by surprise. Judging by past off elections, she said participation usually runs low, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Californians are also used to voting in June and November, and people may not be focused on the vote this time around. Many people are getting the kids back to school, but that voters can vote at their own leisure, even in between grappling with all of the other responsibilities that are cropping up this month.
She stressed that voters should not wait till the last minute to try to get their vote in.
“I just want people to be as informed as they can, and really just to vote now, whenever now is for them, just vote. They don’t have to wait till Election Day.”
For more information, see http://www.sanbernardinodemocrats.org/
For mail ballot drop off locations, see
To see track when your vote has been counted, see https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/
To see California Democratic Party phonebanking events, see https://www.mobilize.us/cadems/event/405152/