SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians voted to keep Gov. Gavin Newsom in office on Tuesday, ending a statewide recall election that saw some Republicans again float unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Days before the polls closed, the campaign of one of the leading Republican candidates promoted a website urging people to sign a petition that declared Newsom had already won because of voter fraud. That language was lifted from a petition circulated to help former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn last year’s presidential election results.
By Tuesday afternoon, that language was removed from the website, leaving only a form for people to report “irregularities, interference, or intimidation while voting.” A spokeswoman for Elder said the website is operated by a third party and that “websites update their language all the time.”
Elder did not revive any such claims Tuesday night, quickly conceding the race and urging booing supporters to “be gracious in defeat.”
The claims of fraud — both from Elder and former President Donald Trump — prompted a rebuke from Newsom in an election night victory speech.
“Democracy is not a football. You don’t throw it around,” Newsom said. “It’s more like a, I don’t know, an antique vase. You can drop it and smash it into a million different pieces. And that’s what we’re capable of doing if we don’t stand up to meet the moment and push back.”
There were few reported problems with voting on Tuesday. A polling center in Tulare County was closed because of a wildfire, with voters redirected to nearby alternatives. And a poll worker at a West Hollywood voting site was removed for wearing a pro-Trump shirt, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office.
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 14:
Sarah Kalili holds 19-month-old Chloe Kalili, as the Westwood resident join students, staff and nearby residents to cast their ballots at UCLA Ackerman Union as polls were open Tuesday for Californians to decide whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should be removed from office and, if so, who should replace him in a recall election.
UCLA on Tuesday, Sept. …read more