Thomas Gallatin / September 15, 2021

Californians Keep Newsom

The Golden State’s authoritarian governor survives the recall election.

Deep-blue California stayed true to its color as Governor Gavin Newsom easily staved off a recall, with the votes opposed to removing him coming in at over 60% of the total cast. The possibility of Newsom losing the recall election dwindled over the last few weeks after Hollywood celebrities, labor unions, and politicians from Washington rushed to his defense. Newsom successfully warned that a vote for recall was a vote for Larry Elder, the Republican candidate leading the pack of would-be replacements. Equating Elder to Donald Trump, Newsom energized voters in a state that voted for Joe Biden in 2020 by a nearly two-to-one margin and accounted for five of the seven million votes that separated Trump and Biden in the relatively meaningless national popular vote Democrats love to tout.

Elder responded to the disappointing outcome by encouraging his supporters: “We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war. I decided to run because I felt I could do something about the crime, the homelessness.” He added, “We ran a good, hard, strong campaign. I know that Californians, Democrats, independents, and Republicans are fed up with this governor’s two-year tenure. Why? Rising crime, deteriorating quality of our public education — half of third-graders cannot read at state levels of proficiency — and a more draconian shutdown of the economy compared to the other 49 states.”

While there is little reason to question the recall’s outcome, it still serves to underscore the problems inherent in bulk-mail voting and highlight why Democrats are so keen on it. Safeguards against fraud in a bulk-mail ballot system like California’s, the same system Democrats in DC want to foist upon the entire nation through HR 1, are almost nonexistent. Furthermore, the ability to detect the existence of fraud is even more problematic, which allows Democrats and Leftmedia outlets to decry any claims of fraud as “false.” Instead of investigating and reporting accurately, they charge Republicans with working to sow distrust in America’s democratic election process. Those claims are spurious, but often effective.

However, there were in fact reports that at least one polling station had voters who went to vote yesterday only to be informed that their vote had already been recorded as cast. After the complaints were investigated, it was determined that a “software glitch” had caused the mixup, and it was corrected. The glitch just happened to impact a known Republican-majority district, but perhaps that’s purely coincidental.

Meanwhile, the Leftmedia immediately asserted that voter fraud claims were “false.” Take, for example, this Washington Post headline: “Trump, Elder’s campaign falsely claimed fraud before California votes were counted — a growing GOP tactic.” Aside from that headline being factually false, we’re just glad WaPo never fell for fake fraud claims about, say, Russia colluding with Trump’s campaign.

Simply asserting that fraud doesn’t exist is not the same as investigating these claims to ascertain whether they are fact or fiction. The reality is that voter fraud exists. The only question is how widespread it was, and whether it was significant enough to make a difference in an election’s outcome.

Not seriously addressing instances of voter fraud only serves to bring into question the legitimacy of election outcomes. Furthermore, such dismissal serves as a form of voter suppression by dissuading people from voting. As Orrin Heatlie, chairman of the California Patriot Coalition, astutely observed: “If people lose faith and confidence that their vote [will] count, I think they just won’t waste their time. That’s one of the biggest problems we have, people who aren’t voting.”

With Newsom remaining in charge of the Golden State — and arguably now politically invincible — residents can expect more of the same: rising crime, rising homelessness, rising cost of living, rising housing costs, and more people fleeing the once-prosperous and freedom-loving state.

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