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California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a news conference in Oakland, California, on Wednesday. Photo: Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

California Democrats announced plans Wednesday to change the state's recall election rules, a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom defeated a Republican-backed effort to remove him.

Why it matters: The Democratic governor received 63.9% of the vote to stave off the challenge. State Democratic Assemblymember Marc Berman, who's helping lead the drive to overhaul the process, said in a statement that "a small minority of voters" shouldn't be able "to initiate a costly recall that wastes $276 million."

  • The GOP-led campaign reached the current threshold of signatures to hold a recall, after garnering over 1,495,709 verified voters signatures — about 12% of all ballots cast in the last gubernatorial election.

The big picture: Berman said he and Sen. Steve Glazer, chair of the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, had begun efforts to "reform our undemocratic recall process."

  • This would involve holding bipartisan hearings in the coming months before making changes that would need the amendment of California's constitution.

The other side: California Republican strategist Mike Madrid criticized the move, arguing that "throwing out a powerful tool to protect democracy for purely partisan aims is misguided and dangerous," per Reuters.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Axios Atlanta

Scoop: Georgia's Raffensperger calls for bipartisan election reform

Photo: Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Axios that it's time for a bipartisan commission on federal election reform, like the one co-chaired by former Democratic President Jimmy Carter and former Republican Secretary of State James Baker in 2005.

Why it matters: Raffensperger refused former President Donald Trump’s request last year to "find" the votes to overturn Georgia’s election results and defended the state's 2020 vote count from members of his own party.

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 20, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado GOP still looking for a winning U.S. Senate candidate

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The herd of Republican candidates storming into the U.S. Senate race is kicking up so much dust it's clouding the party's chances of winning a crucial seat in the 2022 election.

State of play: Nine GOP contenders have filed paperwork to run for the party's nomination — and a chance to challenge Sen. Michael Bennet — and more candidates are expected to enter in coming months.

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.

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