September 23, 2003


Oct. 7 election on schedule after judges' ruling (Sam Stanton, September 23, 2003, Sacramento Bee)

California's Oct. 7 recall election is back on, at least for now, following a decision Tuesday morning by an 11-judge panel of federal judges that said "this election has already begun" and should go forward.

The decision, which is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, rejects ACLU claims that the vote should have been put off until March, when six California counties representing 40 percent of the state's voters would have switched from punch-card voting machines to more modern equipment. [...]

The panel released its decision Tuesday morning in San Francisco, and said there was a legitimate concern "that use of the punch-card system will deny the right to vote to some voters who must use that system."

"At this time, it is merely a speculative possibility, however, that any such denial will influence the result of the election," the panel concluded.

The judges also noted that enormous preparations for the election two weeks from Tuesday have been made in California.

"Potential voters have given their attention to the candidates' messages and prepared themselves to vote," the panel said. "Hundreds of thousands of absentee voters have already cast their ballots in similar reliance upon the election going forward on the timetable announced by the state.

"These investments of time, money, and the exercise of citizenship rights cannot be returned.".

Like control of the US senate and stopping the Texas redistricting, the third great Democratic victory of the Bush era goes up in smoke.

Meanwhile, that means you need to make your picks in, THE 1ST ANNUAL BROTHERS JUDD CALIFORNIA RECALL PROGNOSTATHON:

Here's the deal:

You pick the %'s of the "Yes" and "No" votes; the % of the vote that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cruz Bustamante will each get; and, as a tie breaker, the % of eligible voters who will turn out on October 7th.

We'll award whoever comes closest a copy of the magnificent new Illustrated version of James M. McPherson's Pulitzer-winning Battle Cry of Freedom and the runner-up a hot--off-the-presses paperback copy of Rick Atkinson's Pulitzer-winning Army at Dawn (both courtesy of our friends at FSB Associates).

Please go to this page to enter your picks.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 23, 2003 2:28 PM

I don't get it. The election is in less than two weeks and Republicans are asking one of the two main Republican (I don't know if there are more) to drop out. I think it's a good idea, but a little late now.

Aren't the ballots printed and distributed by now? California is a big state and everything can't be done in a day or two.

Posted by: erp at September 23, 2003 7:18 PM

Hmmm...Perhaps the GOP is hoping the voters will know not to vote for the candidate who drops out. But I too thought the ballots were already printed.

And, Orrin--"THE 1ST ANNUAL BROTHERS JUDD CALIFORNIA RECALL PROGNOSTATHON"? If this is the *first* one, do you expect there to be additional ones?

Posted by: Southerner at September 23, 2003 7:26 PM

Apologies for posting again--just so you'll know, my second comment, about possible future recalls, is somewhat in jest. (I had put the word "grin" in angle brackets and it was treated as an HTML code, I guess. "Preview is my friend."

Posted by: Southerner at September 23, 2003 7:31 PM


If Arnold wins I bet the Democrats start collecting petition signatures the next day.

Posted by: oj at September 23, 2003 7:36 PM


I think that you're right, and also that it'll get nowhere. Cali has had unpopular Governors before, and recall petitions have been circulated, but no Cali Governors have been recalled, yet.

Davis is a special case: Incompetent,untruthful, AND lacking in personal charm. Actually, his biggest flaw, like Carter's, is simply bad luck.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 24, 2003 1:19 AM