The Waste of Time and Money that was the Gavin Newsom Recall Election

$276 million is the estimated cost to taxpayers from the California Secretary of State for the Sept. 14 election where voters decidedly chose not to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. That estimate is likely far lower than the actual cost of the election, as it was confirmed that at least $276 million had already been spent as of Election Day.

In an interview with ABC News, California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber said, “We could see $300 million or more spent on this election.” That figure is only including the amount of money it costs to produce an election from taxpayers. It does not also include the tens of millions of dollars raised and spent by campaigns. 

The recall election asked voters the simple question, “Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?” 62.7% of voters responded “No,” while 37.3% voted to remove Newsom as governor. Voters were also asked if Gavin Newsom were to be recalled, who they would wish to be his replacement. Given the likelihood that most of those who voted “No” on the recall of Newsom would not have chosen any option as a replacement, conservative talk show host Larry Elder received the most votes by winning 47.9% of voter choices to be the new governor.

Californians will vote once again in 2022 for who will hold the office of governor. With only 13 months until the next election, it may cause Californians to wonder if spending hundreds of millions of dollars on an election could have been better used for solving many of the problems political campaigns often promise they will solve.

Dylan B. Raines can be reached at: [email protected]