Reducing Abuse Of The Recall Process

 

Resolution 14-07.04

 

WHEREAS, recall elections require a two-step process with one vote on whether to replace the incumbent and one simultaneously to choose a replacement; these elections can be the only contest on the ballot resulting in an expensive election with low voter turnout; and a low turnout election can allow a small but determined minority to gain an unfair advantage; and

WHEREAS, when a public official fails to fulfill the duties of his office by engaging in actions or omissions such as failing to perform required duties, incompetence in performing duties, and unethical conduct, the official should be recalled, and there is usually substantial and bi-partisan support for the recall; and

WHEREAS, the recall procedure and its often low election turnout has been used to recall an officeholder solely on the basis of a position on a single issue (such as a position for gun control), an executive's policy, or a judge's decision on a case; and a recall can result in the official's replacement by a candidate of one party who obtains only a plurality vote, which can produce an unrepresentative result;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party supports an effort to reform the California recall procedure by considering the following: (a) requiring a higher number of voters to qualify a recall, (b) allowing more flexibility in scheduling the recall election in order to have the recall vote on the same date as another election, (c) requiring a super majority (such as 55%) for the vote on the recall of the elected official, (d) requiring that there should be a separate election on a separate date for selecting a replacement, and (e) requiring that if no replacement candidate obtains a majority of the vote there shall be a runoff between the two candidates with the highest number of votes; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party will send copies of this resolution to the Governor, the Speaker, the Pro Tempore, and the Chairpersons of the elections committees of the Senate and the Assembly.

Sponsored by the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley

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Adopted by the California Democratic Party
At its July 2014 Executive Board Meeting
Marriot Hotel, Oakland
July 13, 2014

 

 

 

 

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