Republican Governor Candidate Larry Elder Claims ‘Voter Fraud’ in Recall Election
© REUTERS / MIKE BLAKERepublican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder makes a campaign stop outside a restaurant in San Diego, California, U.S. September 3, 2021
© REUTERS / MIKE BLAKE
With polls showing that California’s incumbent governor, Gavin Newson, is likely to survive a recall election, his primary opponent, Republican Larry Elder, has raised the alarm of voter fraud
California’s gubernatorial recall election has taken another dramatic turn. Incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom weathered a series of uninspiring polls that painted the election as a 50-50 proposition for his removal and enters election day with a double-digit lead in the polls. While the polling data points to a clear Newsom win, Republican candidate Larry Elder, Newsom’s biggest competitor, has already made claims of voter fraud.
"What I believe is that no matter what they do -- and I believe that there might very well be shenanigans, as it were in the 2020 election -- no matter what they do, so many Californians are angry about what's going on," Elder claimed.
On Larry Elder’s gubernatorial campaign website, he links to another website that seeks to fight California election fraud. The site claims that the statistical tool known as Benford’s law has already detected election fraud in early voting. However, Benford’s law’s usefulness, when detecting election fraud, has been heavily contested. A 2017 study found that its ability to predict election fraud comes in at about 50%. Furthermore, it is a red-flag test and cannot conclusively prove fraud.
The website provides a form to allow people to report any incidents of “irregularities, interference, or intimidation while voting.” The site’s sponsor is not listed, but the donation tab redirects users to Larry Elder’s Recall Newsom Ballot Committee donation page.
Elder’s comments that "we have a voter integrity board all set up - most of these are lawyers... so, when people hear things, they contact us; we're going to file lawsuits in a timely fashion," indicate that his campaign’s contention of the California recall election results will in some part hinge on reports of interference from private citizens.
California's Recall election has taken fifteen months to be fully realized. The petition for a recall election was approved in June of 2020 and required nearly 1.5 million signatures by November 17th, 2020 to trigger a recall election.
A four-month extension was granted for the petition to accumulate signatures in wake of the worsening pandemic. On November 6th, 2020, Newsom was pictured flaunting his Covid protocols at an upscale French restaurant with lobbyists. The pictures created an uproar amongst those critical of Newsom and helped propel the petition across the finish line as the calendar turned to 2021.
The recall election asks voters two questions. The first is a vote of yes or no to recalling Governor Gavin Newsom. The second is their choice for next the Governor. If over 50% of California's vote yes on recalling Newsom he is ousted and the leading vote-getter will be installed as California's next Governor.