Sacramento, Calif. (AP) — Californians voted Tuesday to keep Governor Gavin Newsom in office, ending a statewide recall election that saw some Republican Make baseless claims of voter fraud again.
Days before the close of voting, the campaign of one of the leading Republican candidates promoted a website urging people to sign a petition declaring that Newsom had already won due to voter fraud. Is. That language was removed from a petition circulated to help the former president Donald TrumpAttempts to reverse the results of last year’s presidential election.
As of Tuesday afternoon, that language had been removed from the website, leaving only a form for people to report “irregularities, interference or threats while voting.” A spokesman for Larry Elder said the website is operated by a third party and that “the websites update their language at all times.”
Elder did not revive any such claim on Tuesday night, quickly conceding the race and urging Booing supporters to “be kind in defeat”.
The fraud claims – from both Elder and former President Donald Trump – drew a rebuke from Newsom in his election night victory speech.
“Democracy is not a football. You don’t throw it around,” Newsom said. “It’s like an ancient vase, I don’t know. You can drop it and break it into millions of different pieces. And that’s what we’re capable of doing if we don’t stand to meet that moment and push back. “
There were some difficulties in voting on Tuesday. A polling station in Tulare County was closed due to a wildfire, redirecting voters to nearby options. And according to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office, a poll worker at a West Hollywood voting site was turned away for wearing a pro-Trump shirt.
In the Woodland Hills neighborhood last weekend, some people said they were told they had already voted, which the registrar’s office said was due to settings on some computers that check voters. The office said those affected were allowed to cast provisional ballots, which serve as placeholders, until voter eligibility is determined. Similarly, a Newsmax reporter tweeted on Tuesday that he was told he had already voted at an Orange County polling place. The county registrar said he could not comment on the matter, but unintentionally this condition occurs “but in small numbers” and often has an explanation. They were also allowed to vote provisionally.
Some Republicans were concerned that the fraudulent claims of some party leaders could suppress voting. Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer and woman on the Republican National Committee for California’s national committee, said she made a video with her husband showing them casting ballots by mail and urging everyone to do the same.
But Dhillon also said she could not say whether the California election would be safe, she and a team of lawyers monitoring the vote had seen dozens of problems.
“After this election, there will be a lot of questions and possible lawsuits regarding people’s ballot papers and their right to vote,” Dhillon said.
The GOP’s position was similar to last year’s presidential election, when many in the party feared that Trump’s claims about widespread fraud from expanded mail-in voting would persuade Republicans to stay home.
In California, the GOP needed all the help it could get.
Democrats make up 46.5% of all registered voters, while Republicans make up just 24%. Independent voters are roughly equal to Republicans, but tend to vote Democratic. The Republican has not won a statewide office since 2006, when Arnold Schwarzenegger won re-election as governor.
Associated Press writer Michael R. Nicolas Riccardi in Blood and Denver contributed to this report.