“California’s election rules could make a Newsom recall a wild ride”

John Myers for the LAT:

In a gubernatorial recall, replacement candidates would likely have to file their paperwork — along with a fee of almost $4,200 or, in lieu of a fee, submit at least 7,000 voter signatures — no later than 59 days before election day. The final decision on ballot access requirements is left to Weber, who may have broad discretion on filing fees and the signature threshold under a California Supreme Court ruling from the 2003 gubernatorial recall.

But here’s where things get interesting: The election could be held as soon as 60 days after the recall measure has been certified by the secretary of state. That would give hopefuls just 24 hours to decide.

In 2003, then-Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante set the marker at 76 days after certification, giving replacement candidates 17 days to join the contest. Bustamante, much to the dismay of some fellow Democrats, announced his own candidacy two days before the deadline.

Should the Newsom recall qualify for the ballot, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis must schedule the election within 60 to 80 days. And if she decides on a short filing season, it could scramble the field of viable replacement candidates, perhaps boosting Newsom’s chances of political survival.

Stracener said a decision like that could produce a backlash.

“Any time you’re doing something that potentially constrains access to the ballot, you have to be concerned,” he said.

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