It will cost California counties around $ 215 million to hold a recall election scheduled this year that could oust Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, state analysts said Thursday.
The state’s finance department’s preliminary projection comes about a month after a coalition of county officials urged the legislature to provide funding to cover those costs, warning they would otherwise strain local budgets already. stretched by the coronavirus pandemic.
Without state financial assistance, these costs “fall squarely on the shoulders of the counties, creating a heavy financial burden,” the counties have warned.
Preliminary figures were provided by counties which estimated what it would cost for everything from printing and mailing the ballots to providing face masks and gloves to election workers.
Legislative leaders and the governor’s office continue to negotiate an agreement on the new budget, which must be in place by July 1, the state of the new fiscal year.
Projected election costs varied widely, ranging from $ 49 million in Los Angeles County, home to about 10 million people, to about $ 36,000 in sparsely populated Modoc County in the rural northeast corner of the state.
In Los Angeles, his projection to organize the recall was about half of the $ 96 million the county spent to organize the November presidential election.
The election date has not been set, but it is generally expected that they will be held in the fall.
The state is in the process of establishing and reviewing projected election costs, which is part of the long process required before an election is officially authorized.
State officials earlier announced a preliminary tally which revealed that the organizers of the recall had gathered more than enough petition signatures to qualify the recall for the ballot.
Democrats backing Newsom have called the election a waste of taxpayer dollars, noting that he will run again in 2022 if he pushes back a recall attempt in the fall.
Republicans who deride Newsom as a failure see the costs of the election as money well spent in their efforts to oust him from office.
“Given Newsom’s track record, his recall will save California billions,” said Gus Portela, spokesperson for former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a leading GOP candidate in the hope to replace the governor.
The recall took root last year, in large part due to public dismay at Newsom’s long-lasting virus restrictions that have shut down schools and businesses.
Recent polls have revealed that Newsom will survive the recall at this point.
The list of Republican challengers who have signaled their intention to participate in the race continues to grow, although no consensus favorites have emerged. State Assembly Member Kevin Kiley this week became the latest to announce that he was considering intervening.
Other Republicans in the race include businessman John Cox, who was beaten by Newsom in 2018, reality TV personality and 1976 Olympic decathlon champion Caitlyn Jenner and former congressman Doug Dare.