Saturday, August 02, 2003

"Programs! Get your programs here! Can't tell who's running for Governor without yer programs!"

According to the California Secretary of State's office, there are now 76 candidates recognized by them, and another 180 who have requested papers from the County elections offices, for a possible total of 256 names on our ballot, assuming they all follow through and file by the deadline. LA County has been kind enough to post their list of folks they've given papers to online.

Just for fun, I did a little Googling, and came up with only seven candidates who have their web site set up so far:Camejo, who was the Green Party nominee in the 2002 election that's being overturned, is the only candidate I had ever heard of more than 24 hours ago. Of the other six long shots above, I'm really taken by the information on Georgy Russell's site. She and I actually share common viewpoints on many key subjects.

But what is a long shot? Does such a concept exist in this mess of an election? Here's how it's going to work: There are two questions on the recall portion of the ballot.
  1. Should we recall Governor Gray Davis, yes or no?, and
  2. Who should be Governor, if Gray Davis is recalled (with a list of qualified candidates)?
All it takes to qualify is 65 signatures from voters registered in your party and $3,500 (additional signatures can be submitted in leiu of the cash, the number based on registered voters in your party). If the recall passes, then the candidate with the most votes wins. Not a majority, simply the most votes. There is no provision for a run-off election.

That bears repeating: There is no provision for a run-off election. Currently there are 256 people who have made public their intentions to run in the election, 76 of whom are far enough in the process to be recognized by the Secretary of State's office. If only 50 complete the process (65 names + $3,500) that means that the new Governor may "win" with only 2.1% of the vote. If over 100 candidates appear on the ballot (which may happen), the "winner" may only have 1% of the vote. "Of the vote." Remember, in a special election like this, we may get less than 50% voter turn-out.

This is going to be a very interesting election indeed.

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