California Recall Could Cost Taxpayers Over $215 Million

California Recall Could Cost Taxpayers Over $215 Million California Recall Could Cost Taxpayers Over $215 Million California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool, File)

By Jim Thomas | Thursday, 10 June 2021 05:32 PM

Elections officials in all 58 California counties have estimated their costs in the recall election against Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom at over $215 million, according to ABC.

A California Department of Finance press release indicated that all 58 counties responded to a request to provide their preliminary estimates for costs associated with a recall election, which totaled approximately $215 million.

Deputy Finance Director Erika Li sent a letter on Thursday to top state legislators saying that the figures are lower than the initial estimate of up to $400 million to pay for recall election administration costs.

The recall bill is high enough that county governments will have to ask the state’s Legislature to pay for it.

For example, the estimated costs associated with Sacramento are fairly consistent with what Janna Haynes, spokesperson with Sacramento County, told ABC10 in mid-May.

"Sacramento County anticipates a recall election can cost as much as $4-5 million just for our county," Hayes said.

The county with the highest estimated costs was Los Angeles County — which has the largest population of any California county — at $49,154,000.

San Bernardino County came in at a close second with an estimated $32,068,216.

Newsom and his allies have argued that the cost of the recall election is just too expensive for California, with the money being better spent elsewhere.

California is enjoying a record surplus, reported Bloomberg.

Li also said that final costs could be higher than the $215 million estimate because the overall figure does not include expenses incurred by the secretary of state’s office, which must oversee and certify the vote.

The California Legislature passed a measure earlier this year extending mail-in voting through the end of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic which will raise administration costs, according to KQED.

Those voters will have two questions to decide when they get their ballots: Whether Newsom should be recalled and removed from office, and who should replace him if he is recalled.

No Democrats have said they will enter the race, and Newsom’s team is trying to keep it that way, according to NBC.

More than 50 candidates have filed papers with the state to indicate they will run for governor.

Among them are three prominent Republicans — former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018; and Olympian and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner.

Recent polls show most voters oppose ousting Newsom, a first-term governor who won office with almost 62 percent of the vote in 2018. A poll conducted last month by the Public Policy Institute of California found 57 percent of voters opposed the recall; a survey conducted by Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies found the recall trailing by a 50 percent to 42 percent margin among likely voters, reported the Hill.

Original Article