Calif. ruling Democrats seek to make it harder to trigger a future recall election

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 14: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to union workers and volunteers on election day at the IBEW Local 6 union hall on September 14, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Californians are heading to the polls to cast their ballots in the California recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 14: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to union workers and volunteers on election day at the IBEW Local 6 union hall on September 14, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 3:52 PM PT – Wednesday, September 15, 2021

State lawmakers in California are already taking steps to make it more difficult to hold a recall election moving forward. Reports on Wednesday cited California Secretary of State Shirley Weber saying the recall process needed to be changed, noting it hasn’t been revised in a century.

Weber stated in an interview, “what can we do to really make it a system that we believe in? We’re going to do some work on that.”

California Democrats have proposed doubling the amount of signatures needed to qualify for a recall election, raising filing fees and requiring candidates to have signatures from different parts of the state. This comes as a study by UC Berkeley found 75 percent of voters support recall elections, but say reform is needed.

“In five different counties, you need to have X number of signatures. So, it’s not enough to just send signature gatherers to your hometown,” said professor of political science at UC Berkeley, Eric Shickler.

The California State Senate Election Committee has already approved two measures, which would ban compensation for petition circulators for signatures they get for a recall effort.

In the meantime, Shickler suggested, “the results [from the UC Berkeley poll] show that at the time of the Newsom recall, most voters, including a majority of Democrats, support recall elections in principle, but also favor reforms that would impose somewhat higher hurdles in bringing future recall elections to the ballot.”

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