CA RECALL: No, There Is No Rigging of Larry Elder on the Ballot; There Is Too Much Misinformation

An article on a right-wing site has been circulating on the internet and causing a stir:

California Rigging the Governor Election Against Larry Elder and Those Who Voted for Recall


It begins:

As the California governor recall election takes off, efforts to sabotage the Elder candidacy and those who voted for the recall are in full force. 

No doubt, although there is sabotage and there are self-inflicted wounds; we are seeing a lot of both, particularly with this candidate.

The site lists the first example of how Elder is being sabotaged:

In this first example, Republican candidate Larry Elder is noticeably impacted by the way the ballot was created and folds added to the ballot.  This is a low-tech hack of a ballot.

When folds run through candidate vote space it either does not scan and forces adjudication OR outright misaligns and auto-cancels the vote.

The design of the ballot will negatively impact Elder.

I already talked about some of the ways Newsom and the California Democratic Party are actually rigging the results. Despite this site’s breathless rendering, the issue mentioned is not one of those ways.

Attorney and Founder of the Liberty Center Harmeet Dhillon is actively involved behind the scenes of the Special Recall Election. Dhillon reviewed and tweeted this thread:


1/ I’ve seen this article, & getting a few questions about it. Here are some facts: candidate position on the ballot rotates by Assembly district

It’s true. If you look at the ballot format below from one of my California RedState colleagues, the crease is below John Cox’s slot. The ballot is also a three-column format, so if Elder is getting sabotaged, as the site surmises, then so are two other candidates. In any event, it’s definitely not targeted.

The California recall ballot’s two questions (Credit: Dennis Santiago)


Dhillon continues her thread:

2/ So any candidate’s position is going to vary from district to district. Go on, ask your friends in other districts what their ballot looks like. Second, the 1% manual tally that occurs during the canvass is designed to check any such errors in machine counting…/


3/ And having checked with my state party and election law colleagues, we are not aware of this type of issue of “being on the fold” etc. as causing systematic undercounting of votes. The best way to make sure your vote counts? ACTUALLY VOTE. GET YOUR FRIENDS TO VOTE TO RECALL.

Dhillon is a trusted ally and knows of what she speaks. And, she is correct: The best way is to go out and vote, and get your friends and neighbors to do the same.

One way Newsom and the Democrats can win is by having us chase our tail with sabotage theories that have no basis in fact; the other way is to take our eye off the ball. The goal is 50, plus 1 to vote “YES” to Recall Gavin Newsom. It that goal is not reached, then who, what, and how much gets counted on Question 2 of the ballot is irrelevant.

My colleague Dennis Santiago is also a Californian, and he wrote about the Special Election ballot process. It’s short and also an informative read.

For those who have been misinformed and are still fudgy on the facts of what is required in this Special Recall Election to oust Hair Gel, our Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar did an excellent breakdown thread:


Once 50 + 1 is reached, Governor Hair Gel, Gavin Newsom, is no longer governor. He cannot be a write-in candidate on Question 2; as I said before, that would be nonsensical, and why that lawsuit trying to make a write-in option happen will go nowhere.

The Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis cannot take the seat, and then reinvest him with powers. So getting to 50 +1 on YES is the crucial part of this equation.

His Hairfulness and his progressive posse are telling their voters to leave Question 2 blank, so any hope for poor Kevin Paffrath even making a fair showing is sinking like a stone; Kevin Paffrath has also seen this.


Exactly. Anything saying otherwise is FAKE NEWS. Once Question 1 is settled, Newsom has lost. Now the harder part begins, choosing a replacement. There is still much misinformation floating around about this too. Dhillon, Van Laar, and I are all on the same page:

If all you can do is submit your vote, then make it happen, by any means necessary. There are plenty of good people and certain organizations out here who are looking out for the rest.

We will win this.


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