Sunday, September 19, 2021

Opinion: What’s at stake in California’s recall election

If you need a reminder about what’s at stake in Gavin Newsom’s recall election, head next door to Arizona.

In late June the US Supreme Court upheld two Arizona laws aimed at limiting voter participation.

Despite the fact that the state has closed 320 polling places in Arizona, primarily in more than a third of Latino counties, allowing the state to throw out ballots cast by voters outside its own territory, Which leads to long lines. And wait for the time to vote.

Other legislation prohibits people from casting ballots for voters who may be out of home or face transportation or work hours limits and not able to vote themselves.

Arizona is not alone; 15 other states have passed laws aimed at making voting difficult. Legislators in Georgia and Arkansas passed laws that make it easier to reverse election results they don’t like.

In Kansas, the League of Women Voters and other groups have suspended voter registration campaigns following the passage of a state law that criminalizes people who help voters with their ballots and mail ballots for applications. prohibit distribution.

Elsewhere, a Texas bill would remove teaching on the history of women’s suffrage, Latino and Indigenous rights movements, that the Ku Klux Klan is “morally wrong”, and that of Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez and Dr. Martin Luther. Writing King. Texas is one of at least six states that want to restrict education on American history.

Fifteen states have passed restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. Seventeen states have enacted anti-LBGTQ bills, including blocking access to medical care for trans-youth. Nine states have banned state enforcement of federal firearms statutes.

Florida and Oklahoma passed laws granting civil immunity to drivers who kill or injure people after colliding with protesters. Any gathering of three or more people in Florida can now be classified as a “riot”, in which peaceful participants can be subjected to a felony.

Arkansas, Florida and Kansas will criminalize protests against oil pipelines that exacerbate the climate crisis and are smothered by toxic environmental spills. Indiana will bar protesters from holding state employment or elected office.

These and similar states have GOP-controlled governance, led by the far-right ideologues behind Newsom’s recall campaign. California is in their sights.

While supporters of the recall would believe that this election is about protesting pandemic safeguards, the sponsors of the recall have a different, hidden agenda.

California nurses, who have endured a traumatic first time with the disaster of a pandemic, also want the pandemic to end. But with more permeable delta growth and rising cases currently, this is not the time to dismantle public health and safety protections.

We have seen attacks on voting and other democratic rights, on workplace and environment and health care security, on racial, gender and other social justice measures, and additional attacks on working people in states pushed by far-right politicians elsewhere Is.

A look at who funded the recall drive tells the story. They include former President Trump, major donors to the Senate Leadership Fund and the Republican National Committee, who want to elect more candidates who share their agenda, as is now being played out in states that dominate the country.

With the ballots out by mid-August, don’t let us be complacent in ignoring the dangers facing Californians. Let’s not turn California into Arizona, Florida, Texas and other states where democracy itself is at risk.

Our future is in our hands. Join the nurses in voting “no” on the recall.

Zenei Cortez is a San Mateo County Registered Nurse and President of the California Nurses Association.

Opinion: What's at stake in California's recall election
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