Why is California having recall elections?

The high-profile election that propelled Arnold Schwarzenegger to power in 2003 was the first time many Americans had heard of a recall....


The high-profile election that propelled Arnold Schwarzenegger to power in 2003 was the first time many Americans had heard of a recall.

The idea that California voters could remove their governor before his term ends – and replace him with a movie star – was unknown, if not unbelievable.

But recalls have a long and rich history in the United States.

In 1776, after declaring independence from the British, some of the original 13 colonies included recall provisions in their state constitutions to guard against the power of elected officials, said Joshua Spivak, principal investigator at the Hugh L. Carey Institute at Wagner College. for government reform. But the idea of ​​the recall was not incorporated into the United States Constitution and instead went into hibernation for over a century.

“It took a doctor born in Philadelphia, Los Angeles to really rekindle the recall,” Spivak writes in his book “Recall Elections: From Alexander Hamilton to Gavin Newsom”.

In 1898, a Los Angeles physician named John Randolph Haynes proposed adding a recall measure to the city’s charter as a way to root out corruption. Five years later, the city has become one of the first places in the country to adopt the recall.

Over the next seven years, another 25 California cities adopted similar measures, according to Spivak.

And in 1911, California voters overwhelmingly approved a voting measure that made the state the third to allow recalls. Now, 110 years later, most states allow the recall of local officials; 19, including California, also authorize the dismissal of state officials.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Why is California having recall elections?
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