As the Sept.14 voting deadline approaches for the California governor recall election, political organizations on campus hope to rally their side to victory.
Of the 19 states that allow their citizens to recall state officials, California is one of the easiest processes.
Proponents must only collect the number of signatures that match with 12% of the total number of votes cast in the last election.
If a majority of Californians vote to recall the governor, the candidate with the most votes will finish out Gavin Newsom’s term through Jan. 2, 2023. In California recalls, and especially recalls with as many candidates as this cycle, it is possible for a candidate to win the election without a majority of the votes.
Almost anyone can qualify for the ballot as long as they file the proper paperwork, pay a filing fee and collect 7,000 signatures.
At Cal State Fullerton, neither of the campus Democrat or Republican organizations have held any events on campus related to the recall.
The CSUF Republicans said that they invited Republican front-runner Larry Elder to campus, but they were unable to make final arrangements within the short time frame.
According to the organization's Instagram page, the CSUF Republicans officially endorsed Larry Elder for governor on July 28.
Claudia Lazaro, president of College Democrats at CSUF, said Newsom’s commitment to affordable housing is one of the reasons she thinks students should vote no on the recall.
“We need affordable housing, especially for the young demographic and so seeing [Newsom] put billions of dollars into funding on that kind of gives us hope that this is a step in the right direction,” Lazaro said. “His policies tend to be more progressive and more friendly for lower-income people of color, so that gives students in that demographic a peace of mind.”
Lazaro also pointed to the recent stimulus checks that were sent out under Newsom. She said she isn’t sure that the Republican candidate’s policies are in the best interests of students.
“I know one of the top candidates for the Republican recall is against the $15 minimum wage or just the minimum wage in general. And I think that right there is a very big component of how it can harm students, especially since a lot of us are trying to go to school full time and still have work and still be able to pay our bills,” Lazaro said.
Despite recent polling, Lazaro said she is not feeling satisfied.
“I am nervous. I'm not going to lie, I think everyone definitely is on the edge of their seats,” Lazaro said.
Lazaro added that no matter the outcome of the recall, she is assured in the fact that there is another election coming in 2022, meaning that even if Newsom is recalled, a Democrat will soon have another chance to take the governor’s seat.
CSUF Republican President James Barr said that he appreciates Elder’s support for desalination plants and underground reservoirs in California in order to ease drought conditions, an issue that Barr said he believes will become particularly important as climate change impacts Californians’ ability to access clean water.
“We can't live forever off the Colorado River. It’s just not feasible,” Barr said.
Barr, in particular, said he takes issue with the perceived failings by Newsom to uphold law and order. He cites the number of convenience store robberies across the state, and the state’s decision to release criminals from prison during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mr. Newsom has not proven to be as hardline on law and order as almost any other governor. He's let law and order slip right through his fingers,” Barr said. “I would argue that if students, if young people, here in California want to see a stronger and safer California, it's clear to me that Mr. Elder has a plan and it's much better than the plan that Mr. Newsom has.”
Barr said he remains optimistic about Elder’s chances in the recall.
“I have to maintain a state of positivity. I have every faith that Newsom will be recalled and that Elder will be elected,” Barr said. “And I can't say anything else on the issue.”
Information on both clubs can be found on their respective Instagram profiles. On Sept. 20, the College Democrats of CSUF will host OC District Attorney candidate Peter Hardin on campus. The CSUF Republicans host weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the Titan Theater.
Bryan Corrales-Reyes contributed to this article.