Monday, October 11, 2021

The View from Home: What did voters think about the California recall election?

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Why do you care?

California voters have several reasons to care about this recall election. First of all, this is a test of California’s democratic process. Will ordinary citizens have their voices heard as politicians in Sacramento make tough decisions?

Second, this is an emotional affair. Thousands of voters turned out to cast their ballots. In L.A., thousands of people stood in line to cast their ballots, which are supposed to be secret. Are they going to be intimidated, or will they be allowed to cast their ballots freely?

Third, this is a test of whether American democracy is resilient enough to overcome a power shift. Because now it is the electorate that has taken on a partisan battle royal, and the governor is a Democrat. There are worried liberals and heartbroken conservatives.

A lot of Americans are deeply pessimistic about their democratic system, and these memories of the 2000 Presidential election are among the reasons. It seems clear the prime example of the effects of polarization is the partisan stalemate of the U.S. Congress and a highly partisan U.S. Supreme Court. A small sample size is not always enough to draw a conclusion about the strength of democracy, but on its face California’s recall election shows that democracy can go further.

And finally, this is a test of whether Californians are more moderate and aware of the stark reality facing the country and the world than many political commentators and pundits think. Many conservative and liberal voters are sick of their politicians bickering over nothing, and they are ready to take a strong step towards restoring sanity.

Take a look at the live results as they come in.

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