Newsom campaign wants voters to skip recall ballot's second question

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Ballots for the California recall election are in the mail and some Los Angeles County residents received them Monday.

This is far from a traditional election. Instead of voting for Gov. Gavin Newsom over another candidate, on question one, Californians are voting yes to recall Newsom or no to keep him in office. If more than 50% vote no, then question two, which lists 46 replacement candidates, won't matter. But, even if you vote no, you can still take part in question two, voting for a replacement candidate.

Although, Newsom's campaign is urging voters to vote no and leave question two blank.

"If 50% or more of the voters do vote yes on that first question, someone will be elected governor, so it's your choice on whether you want to weigh in on who that's going to be," said L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan.

The field to replace Newsom includes 24 Republicans and nine Democrats, however, there are no big name Democrats. The governor's campaign says voting no and skipping question two is the only way to block what they call a Republican power grab.

"Voters are going to be a little bit confused by those requests by the Newsom campaign to vote no on question one and leave question two blank. The reality I think is a lot of voters think voting is a civic duty and most people are probably going to fill out both questions on the ballot," said Mike Gatto, a retired California state assemblyman.

And question two is winner take all, so the replacement candidate could receive as low as 20% of the vote and still be elected.

"For Democrats, staying home is in fact voting yes on the recall in a weird way because the Republican party is really excited. You have an electorate very excited to vote yes on question one," said Gatto.

L.A. County has implemented many of the same policies as the November 2020 election. In addition to mailing every registered voter a ballot, the county will be operating 253 in-person voting locations, 108 of which will be open starting Sept. 4. Logan doesn't think voters will have trouble understanding the ballot.

"I know a lot of people are talking about it being confusing," Logan said. "I think when you actually see it on the ballot, it's not that confusing. It is different than what you normally see in a full scale election, but if you take a look at it, I think the voters will find they can navigate it pretty well."
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.