Victory for the Democratic camp of Joe Biden. California voters have decided to keep their governor in office, Gavin Newsom, en voting overwhelmingly “no” in the referendum organized by his detractors to obtain his dismissal, according to the first estimates released Tuesday, September 14 by the American media.
Less than an hour after the closing of the polling stations (8 p.m. local time, 5 a.m. French time Wednesday), the “no” obtained about two-thirds of the votes after counting more than 60% of the ballots already counted, according to CNN and NBC. With such a lead, the two channels estimated that Democrat Gavin Newsom will remain governor of the most populous state in the United States and complete his term, even if the Republican ballots rebalance the score in the hours or days to come. Some 9 million voters had voted early, which made it possible to obtain rapid first projections.
This vote “says ‘yes’ to what is dear to us Californians”, Gavin Newsom said on the announcement of these initial results. “As a state, we have said yes to science, yes to vaccines, yes to the end of the pandemic (…) yes to the right to vote without fear of false accusations of fraud”, said the governor.
Using a provision of the Californian Constitution, disgruntled citizens, very quickly rallied by the Republican Party, obtained this “recall ballot” allowing to dismiss a governor outside any electoral calendar, after having collected more than 1.5 million signatures. Echoing the deep divide that divides the United States, Californians supporters of the referendum denounced excessive taxes, a democratic “elite” perceived as contemptuous and individual freedoms flouted by the authorities since the start of the pandemic.