The ballots for the Sept 14 recall election are in the mail and voting is underway. The Democrat party line is that you should vote No on the Recall (Question 1) and leave Question 2 (voting for the replacement candidate) blank.
I can’t just leave question 2 blank though. When I lived in Maine it wasn’t uncommon to have more than 2 viable candidates. The first gubernatorial race I voted in was a 5 way split that Paul LePage won with 40% of the vote. The Republicans in the state coalesced around the fascist, naturally, and everyone else couldn’t decide who to rally around. 40ish candidates is a nightmare. It’s a weird situation where your vote has the potential to make a huge impact because in California, for this question, you only need a plurality to win. Basically, a candidate could win if they get just slightly more votes than anyone else, and in a 40+ candidate race? All those votes add up and the more votes that Larry Elder doesn’t have, the better.
If I have learned two things in all my years of doing election work it’s that: you can’t trust the polls and you can’t trust the rest of society to agree with you and not vote for bad things.
I could not sleep at night knowing that all the rightwing folks are organizing really hard on the recall and voting for any number of the Republicans on Q2 (tho, taken with salt, it looks like some coalescing around Elder is happening). If the recall succeeded, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing I had the opportunity to vote, to pull votes away from Larry Elder, and chose not to.
So yesterday I read through the voter guide and did my homework, live tweeting the process.
The TL;DR is: Jacqueline McGowan is the only candidate I found who is not utterly cursed and someone I could vote for in good conscience. I voted No on the Recall, and for McGowan on Question 2.
I chose her because she shared my anxiety about not having a backup, her platform is inline with a lot of my personal values and advocacy and she doesn’t want to run again next year for the actual election. She would be a good stand in who believes that masks and vaccines are important and saving lives and continue much of the work that’s already being done in the legislature that we need if we’re going to be able to survive the climate crisis.
She took her ballot statement seriously, and now I feel like we need a department of cannabis equity.