Recalls in California History
The recall is a rarely used process that permits a public vote to determine whether a public official will be removed from office. Recalls are initiated by the circulation of petitions; for statewide offices, the number of signatures needed is 12% of the votes cast in the last election. For all other partisan offices, the number of signatures is 20% of the votes cast in the last election. In both cases, the petition circulators are on a sharp deadline; the signatures are due 160 days after the Secretary of State approves the language for the petition.
The high number of signatures needed is a major hurdle that most recall campaigns are unable to overcome; since 1913, only eleven of the 179 attempted recalls (Source) have qualified for the ballot.
The election ballot will feature two questions; the first asks the voter to vote on whether the official should be recalled (ex. "Shall Gray Davis be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?") and the second question asks the voter to identify the candidate that they prefer in the event that the recall is successfull. The two questions are independent and it is possible to vote no on the first question and still select a candidate in the second.
|Year||Office||Incumbent||Party||Outcome||Successor||Party||Days between recall and inauguration|
|2018||State Sen.||Josh Newman
|2008||State Sen.||Jeff Denham||Rep||Fail|
|2003||Governor||Gray Davis||Dem||Pass||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Rep||41|
|1995||ASM||Doris Allen||Rep||Pass||Scott Baugh||Rep||1|
|1995||ASM||Paul V. Horcher||Rep||Pass||Gary G. Miller||Rep||2|
|1994||State Sen.||David Roberti||Dem||Fail|
|1914||State Sen.||Edwin Grant||Dem||Pass||Ed Wolfe||Rep||88*|
|1914||State Sen.||James Owens||Dem||Fail|
|1913||State Sen.||Marshall Black||Rep||Pass||Herbert C. Jones||Rep||4|
Source for duration between recall and inauguration:
* Newman-Chang Recall [June 5-25th] (Source: 2017-18 Senate Journal, June 25, page 4854)
* Allen-Baugh Recall [November 28-29th] (Source: 1995-96 Assembly Journal, December 7, page 4209)
* Horcher-Miller Recall [May 16-18] (Source: 1995-96 Assembly Journal, May 18, page 1448)
* Grant-Wolfe Recall [October 8, 1914-January 4, 1915] (Source: 1915 Senate Journal, January 4th, page 3)
NOTE: This duration was particularly long because the legislature was in recess until January and (at the time) legislators were only sworn in on the Senate Floor.
* Black-Jones Recall [January 2-6] (Source: 1913 Senate Journal, January 2nd, page 2)
A contested election is an election in which, after an election occurs, a candidate who has "lost" the election asks the legislature to make a determination about who actually won. Election contests only occur after a candidate has "won" and is sworn into office. Changes in the vote lead prior to assuming office are not listed here.
|Year||Office||Incumbent||Party||Outcome||Challenger||Party||Days between first inauguration and successful contest|
|1981||State Assembly||Adrian C. Fondse||Rep||Contested||Patrick Johnston||Dem||35|
|1955||State Senate||Alan Short||Dem||Failed||Verne W. Hoffman||Rep||N/A|
|1903||State Assembly||A. D. Duffey||Dem||Contested||Harry S. Wanzer (resigned 3/16)||Rep||Feb 10|
|1897||State Assembly||John D. Kelsey||Rep||Contested||J. J. McLaurin||Non|
|1895||State Assembly||J. B. McDonald||Dem||Contested||H. M. Collins||Rep||Feb 28|
|1894||Congress||Samuel G. Hilborn||Rep||Contested||Warren B. English||Dem||396|
|1884||State Assembly||Contested||Julius Buhlert||Rep||Jan 19|
|1883||State Senate||Steele||Contested||J. Marion Brooks||Dem||2/23|
|1883||State Senate||Jonathan M. Dudley||Rep||Contested||Leonard W. Buck||Dem||2/16|
|1883||State Assembly||Douglas Barnes||Rep||Contested||E. C. Dozier||Non||2/16|