How does a recall election work? - Recall Judge Aaron Persky

How does a recall election work?


Under California Constitution, a recall election is the appropriate and proper course to follow in a case of judicial bias like this. In California, county judges are elected officials and they are accountable to the people they serve. Judge Persky is not up for reelection until 2022. The recall procedure simply allows us to have an election sooner than that.

It is helpful to understand what a recall is and is not. A recall is not a petition to remove an individual from office. A recall is simply a petition to hold an election. We will start collecting signatures in June 2017. We will have 160 days to collect 90,000 signatures. At that point, we will submit our signatures and if we have enough valid signatures, there will be an election on the next countywide consolidated ballot.

At that point, there will be an election, and the people of Santa Clara County will have the chance to vote on whether Judge Persky should continue or whether someone else should have that seat. Just as in any other election, Judge Persky's supporters will have the opportunity to campaign for him and donate to his campaign and vote for him. And we will be on the opposite side. In fact, a recall election favors Judge Persky because we will have to win more than 50% of the vote to prevail, rather than just get the most votes as in an ordinary election.

A recall election is simply a democratic process for handling situations in which the people would like a chance to vote on a candidate prior to the expiration of his or her term.

Things like sentencing bias are handled as political questions in a system like ours in which judges are elected. There literally is no other remedy for this other than at the polls. Given that fact, the choice is between a recall election now or a regular election in 2022. We don’t think waiting makes sense. The victims of sexual and gender-based violence who will have their cases heard over the next 6 years deserve to receive justice.