Canadians heading to the polls to choose next federal government

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OTTAWA — Canada’s first-ever pandemic election culminates today as Canadians from coast-to-coast go to the polls to choose the 338 members of Parliament to sit in the House of Commons.

Elections Canada says almost 6.8 million people voted early, most of them at advanced polls over a week ago, and the rest through special ballots cast by mail or at Elections Canada offices.

But a majority of Canada’s more than 30 million eligible voters will mark their ballots today.

Elections Canada encourages voters to wear masks but only requires them in places where they are mandated by provincial rules. Proof-of-vaccination regulations do not apply at polling stations in any province where they currently exist.

Polling stations are open for 12 hours, but the opening times vary by region, starting as early as 7 a.m. PST in British Columbia and as late as 9:30 a.m. EDT in Ontario and most of Quebec.

Most riding winners will be known by the end of the evening, but Elections Canada is also warning it could take up to four days to finish counting all the special ballots, meaning some close races may not have official winners for several days.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2021.



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Voting in Nunavut challenging with nine communities without advance polls

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nearly 5.8 million Canadians voted in advance polls, says Elections Canada, but residents of nine communities in Nunavut will have to wait until Monday to cast their ballots.

And for those out of town, like Cathy Aitaok from Cambridge Bay, casting a ballot by mail was unreliable because of long delivery times at Canada Post.

“Because the documents need to be mailed to me, I won’t be here in time to receive them,” said Aitaok, who had to travel to Edmonton a week before the election to see a family member.

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Elections Canada says 16 of Nunavut’s 25 communities had advance polling last weekend — one more than in the 2019 federal election.

“I don’t think that I will be voting this year. It’s definitely not easy,” Aitaok said.

A political-science professor says the voting situation in Nunavut is an example of long-standing unequal access to the ballot box for some Canadians.

“We’re starting to see that there are some areas where Elections Canada could have done a little bit more in terms of trying to increase access for Canadians in unusual circumstances,” said Stewart Prest of Simon Fraser University.

Elections Canada says 39.6 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in 2019, the lowest turnout since 2004.

Access to polling stations isn’t a new problem, Prest said.

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“It’s been an ongoing challenge for decades.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also meant more people wanted to vote early to avoid lineups and crowds on election day, Prest said.

Prest said alternative ways of voting should have been considered long before the pandemic hit.

“Everyone who wants to have a voice should be given the opportunity to cast a ballot. I think this is an area where we can’t accept good enough,” he said.

Some voters in the British Columbia provincial election last year cast their ballots by phone, something Prest said could be an option for more isolated places like Nunavut.

“We’re just going to need to try to find more alternatives, more ways to try to make voting accessible to all Canadians.”

Diane Benson, a spokeswoman for Elections Canada, said between 200 and 300 people are hired to work at polling stations in Nunavut. Poll workers are paid 20 per cent more because of the high cost of living in the North.

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Benson said she has heard concerns about mail-in ballots in the territory not being delivered in time.

“We recognize that there are Canada Post service delivery standards up there that may make the deadlines tight,” she said.

Another issue Nunavut voters face is a lack of the Inuktut language on the ballot. Statistics Canada says 65 per cent of the territory’s residents speak Inuktut as their mother tongue.

Canada’s Elections Act requires the ballot to be in English and French, Benson said.

“It is very strictly prescribed in law what the ballot must look like and the ballot must say. We have to follow that,” said Benson, who added that Elections Canada tries to hire Inuktut speakers to work the polls in Nunavut.

Nunavut NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq tabled a private member’s bill in June to get Inuktut on the federal election ballot, but it was voted down at committee.

Information cards telling voters where to cast their ballots were distributed in English, French and Inuktut, Benson said. Polling stations will have a list of candidates in Inuktut and an Inuktut-speaking interpreter will be available over the phone.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2021.

——

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook-Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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Why Did the California Recall Fail? Here Are Five Key Reasons – RedState

Preliminary results are in from the California gubernatorial recall election and, as announced 20 minutes after the polls closed, we didn’t win. Why? I agree with Kurt Schlichter, who said that it wasn’t because of fraud or because the fix was in, despite what some blue checks on Twitter who either don’t live in California or who left it and want to justify their decision say. Was there fraud? Yes. I’ve spoken to election attorneys who have uncovered various instances of fraud and who will be pursuing legal action on that fraud. More specifics aren’t available at this time because, as one attorney told me, “We don’t talk about it because I’m not General Milley.” But blaming the loss on election fraud or some kind of massive conspiracy is simply a way to avoid accountability for what happened and to excuse not doing anything to change the paradigm here in California.

So, why did the recall fail? Here are the key factors.

1. The Message Wasn’t Focused on Newsom’s Failures

In early July, before the full slate of candidates was certified, I wrote about what the recall election was about and what needed to be done to win:

This election is about what Gavin Newsom has done to this state over the last 10 years and, in particular, the last two years, without remorse, and without concern for the lives destroyed. This election is about helping our friends and family and neighbors who are frustrated about the surge in crime, the unscientific lockdowns, the destroyed businesses, and the continuing surge in homelessness and its attendant societal effects fully understand that it is Gavin Newsom’s policies that led to this.

The failure to accomplish this goal is the main reason the recall failed. We always knew that Newsom’s strategy was going to be to deflect from his terrible record and corruption and blame the recall on Republicans, insurrectionists, and Donald Trump. That’s been the strategy as far back as January, while the recall proponents were still gathering signatures. When Larry Elder joined the race it was easy for Newsom to make the race about Elder, and the state’s mainstream media had no problem with that strategy. That’s not in any way a bash on Elder as a person; it’s simply data. Some Republican candidates continually bashed other candidates instead of Newsom, which also took the focus off of Newsom’s failures.

2. There Was No strategy to Win Question 1

California’s September 14 recall ballot contained two questions: 1) Should Governor Gavin Newsom be recalled? 2) Which candidate should replace Gavin Newsom if he is recalled? While voters answered both questions at the same time, Question 2 only mattered if more than 50 percent of Question 1 voters answered “yes.” That means that the big focus and strategy for recall proponents needed to be on getting to 50 percent plus one on Question 1.

To get the necessary votes on Question 1, proponents needed to build coalitions with the groups most negatively affected by Newsom’s policies: parents of public school students, small business owners, independent contractors/freelancers, people for common-sense medical and masking guidelines, rural voters affected by wildfires, fiscal conservatives, farmers who can’t get enough water to grow their crops, etc. Each group would rally its members with targeted messaging hammering the anti-Newsom message and leading people to the polls. In addition, the various pro-recall organizations, instead of being siloed, needed to coordinate their efforts with each other and with the California Republican Party for maximum effect. Instead, each group was left to their own devices, underfunded, and the shotgun approach really didn’t move the needle.

And, what was the California GOP’s strategy? I know there was a concerted effort to make voter contacts to get them to the polls. Party delegates (including myself) voted for the party to not endorse a particular replacement candidate so party resources could be used simply to persuade voters to a “yes” on Question 1 and turn them out. In the final two weeks, I didn’t receive a single piece of mail urging a yes on Question 1 or a single contact asking me to get my ballot in. Granted, I have voted in every single election so it was probably assumed that I’m the type of voter who will get my ballot in, but it’s inexcusable that I wasn’t contacted once.

3. Polls Were Used to Suppress Votes and Shape Opinion

The biggest shift in the race occurred in early August when a pair of polls were released, one showing Newsom in real danger of being recalled and the other showing Larry Elder as the likely winner of the replacement candidate vote. Prior to the vote UC San Diego political scientist Thad Kousser told Cal Matters:

“There are two ways in which the polls, potentially, not only reflected but shaped the campaign: One was through this creation of crisis, which motivated Gavin Newsom’s donors, his political allies and his base.

“The second and perhaps more important thing was the polls over the past month have made it clear that Larry Elder would be the next governor, if the recall is successful. Since then Gavin Newsom seems to be gaining ground. Those two facts are not unrelated.”

At the end of August more polling – some with questionable methodology – was released showing Newsom easily beating the recall, which led to some pro-recall voters deciding to sit it out. In the same CalMatters article, UCLA political scientist and public opinion researcher Matt Barreto blamed the media for amplifying bad polls:

“People in your industry don’t put any effort into it,” he told CalMatters. “A really poor quality poll comes out…and you think, ‘This is a contrarian story, let’s start repeating this!’ Instead, people should have looked at it and laughed it out of their news feed.”

It’s not realistic to expect average voters to be more sophisticated consumers of polling data; the groups referenced in point two above need to be able to communicate what the poll results mean and explain to voters why a certain poll is flawed.

4. The “It’s Rigged” or Loser Mentality

Even before the recall qualified for the ballot, a significant number of conservatives said Newsom would never be recalled because “the system” wouldn’t allow it. Most even doubted that “the system” would allow the recall to be qualified, believing the Secretary of State would find a way to disqualify so many signatures that it could be claimed that the petitioners didn’t present enough valid signatures. Once the election date was set, the refrain changed – now the “smart” people “knew” that no fair election could ever be held in California, and even before election day the blue check brigade was claiming defeat. How many people stayed home because of that? We don’t have the answer yet, so this one is obviously speculative on my part, but I hope the surveys of those who didn’t vote will be done and we can find out why.

5. $100 Million

Gavin Newsom and his allies raised and spent $100 million from July through September 14, bombarding Californians with mailers, TV ads, radio ads, social media ads, and funding a robust ballot harvesting enterprise. Californians couldn’t escape the blitz of ads containing claims that even AP deemed false, and the worthless California Fair Political Practices Commission didn’t do a damn thing. But whether or not the ads had false information, they predicted a wave of death and destruction should Gavin Newsom be recalled, and they worked.





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California Recall Election: Polls Close

Governor Gavin Newsom (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Polls have closed in the California recall election that will determine whether Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom is ousted from office.

To remain in office, Newsom will need to garner a majority vote. With more than 50 percent of the estimated vote in, the “no” vote — rejecting the governor’s removal — had an early lead. So far, tallies show more than 5.2 million votes in favor of Newsom remaining in office and 2.5 million in favor of recalling the Democrat.

If voters remove the governor, a recall competitor needs a plurality of the vote to win. Forty-six candidates are vying to replace Newsom, including dozens of Republican candidates. Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley have all stepped forward to challenge Newsom, though conservative radio host Larry Elder has emerged as a favorite among GOP voters. 

There are also nine Democrats, ten independents, two Green Party members and one Libertarian on the ballot.

In California, a recall is triggered when a petition can gather a number of signatures that is equal to 12 percent of the total votes cast the last time the seat was open. For this recall effort, just under 1.5 million signatures were needed. The recall movement amassed more than 1.6 million verified signatures.

Californians have been voting early for weeks; it is unclear how soon results can be expected. Election experts say it will depend on the number of early ballots and the amount of in-person voting on Tuesday.

Results could come within hours of polls closing at 8 p.m. Pacific time. However, if the race is tighter than expected, the count could last weeks.

Nearly 40 percent of registered voters had already cast ballots before Tuesday’s election, with Democratic ballots outnumbering Republican ballots two to one. Yet Republicans are expected to overwhelmingly vote in-person, rather than by mail.

Officials have 30 days to complete their official canvass and must give vote-by-mail ballots postmarked on election day one week to arrive, according to the New York Times. The certified count is not expected to come until October 22 as each of California’s 58 counties work to process ballots.

If polls are to be believed, Newsom is likely to remain in office: recent polling shows that 57.3 percent of likely voters would vote to keep Newsom in office while 41.5 percent would vote to remove him, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Additionally, the state is dominated by Democrats, with the party in control of the state legislature and every statewide office.

Still, despite the fact that Newsom was elected in a landslide three years ago, Californians have grown frustrated with the governor over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the state’s homelessness and drug epidemics and exorbitant cost of living.

Early exit polling conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool showed that one-third of voters believe COVID-19 remains the biggest issue for the state, while one-fifth of respondents said homelessness, one in six said the economy and wildfires, respectively, and just under one-tenth saying crime.

Additionally, the polling showed 45 percent of the electorate believes Newsom’s COVID-19 policies have been reasonable, while roughly one-third said the policies were too strict and the remainder said they were not strict enough.

Californians were nearly evenly split on the state of California’s economy, with roughly half saying it is good or excellent and the remainder calling it not-so-good or poor. Six in ten voters said the costs of living in the state are at least somewhat unmanageable.

Newsom’s team remained confident on Tuesday evening before polls closed, with advisers telling CNN they had not seen a surge in GOP turnout that would be able to overcome their early vote lead.

Still, one adviser told CNN even though the “Election Day vote does not appear to be on fire,” it is somewhat too “early to say” definitively. A senior aide to Elder told the outlet the Republican’s team believes the Election Day turnout was strong and that “modeling is off” because the state has not had a recall election in 18 years.

The aide predicted Elder would receive strong support from independents.

If voters choose to recall Newsom, it would mark only the second time Californians have removed a governor in state history: Democrat Gray Davis was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Meanwhile, Elder would be the first black governor of California if elected.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.





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You’re Underwater, Joe — and Your Afghanistan Disaster Is in the Toilet – RedState

“Americans’ views have dimmed on the way President Joe Biden is handling his job as president.” So begins the report from Quinnipiac University, on Biden’s job approval rating.

And it just keeps getting “better” — this week, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifying in both chambers of Congress about Biden’s Afghanistan debacle, only opening his mouth to change feet.

A new national poll from Quinnipiac has the beleaguered president’s job approval rating underwater, with 42 percent approving, of Biden’s overall job performance, compared to 50 percent who disapprove.

And then the poll results on Afghanistan. They suck, Joe. Bigly. But we’ll get there in a minute.

The results from the survey, conducted September 10-13, mark a significant shift since a survey carried out from July 27-Aug. 2, which found that 46 percent of voters approved of Biden’s handling of his job, while 43 percent disapproved, as reported by The Blaze.

And foreign policy?

Just 34 percent approve of the president’s handling of foreign policy — no doubt brainwashed liberals who would support anything this hapless guy might do — versus 59 percent who disapprove, a sizable swing from the 42 percent approval and 44 percent disapproval ratings Biden had on the issue in the earlier poll.

Then there’s Biden’s Afghanistan catastrophe.

According to the new Quinnipiac poll, a “yuuge” majority of 65 percent of participants disapproved of Biden’s hapless, precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, with only 31 percent approving of how he handled it — no doubt brainless liberals who support everything this hapless guy does.

Moreover, 62 percent of participants believe U.S. troops will return to Afghanistan to combat terrorism, vs. just 28 percent who say they don’t think it will happen.

Incidentally, even Biden’s handling of the economy is underwater, with 42 percent of participants agreeing with the job he’s doing, while 52 percent oppose it.

Kellyanne Conway gleefully summed up the poll results in a tweet.

The bottom line on Biden is the bottom line. Quinnipiac University’s polling analyst went bottom-line on the survey’s results, as transcribed by The Post:

If there ever was a honeymoon for President Biden, it is clearly over. This is, with few exceptions, a poll full of troubling negatives … from overall job approval, to foreign policy, to the economy.

Who knew? Given the fantastic job Joe’s doing, and stuff. I mean, that’s what the “journalists” of CNN and MSNBC tell us on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan:

The Horror of Taliban Justice: Infamous ‘Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice’ Is Back





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Polls are closed in California’s gubernatorial recall race – HotAir

Will we get a call tonight?

If we do, it won’t be the one that Larry Elder is hoping for. There’s a nonzero chance that Newsom loses the recall but no chance at all that he loses it so overwhelmingly that the pros will be able to determine that this evening. Many millions of ballots have been cast by mail in California, remember. The counting will go on for days. If Newsom lost a tight one, it may take a week or more to confirm it.

There’s a fair chance, on the other hand, that he’ll win so decisively that election-watchers will be able to make that call tonight. It depends on what the same-day turnout looks like. If Republicans end up turning out below expectations, or if Dems turn out above expectations, the bar in a deep blue state will be too high for Elder to clear.

The polling lately is grim:

Once Elder jumped out to a big lead on the second ballot question of who should replace Newsom as governor, Newsom smartly reframed the race as a de facto “Newsom or Elder” choice. Having a big-name populist conservative media star as their nominee made things harder for Republicans in a very liberal state. Since then, Newsom has consistently described Elder as Trump but worse, hoping to goose lefties into turning out and casting a hate-vote against the Republican. Some of Newsom’s special guests on the campaign trail have echoed the point:

A poll published over the weekend had Newsom winning handily on the recall question, 60.1/38.5. Is it possible that the polls are badly underestimating the Republicans, just as they badly underestimated Trump (and Susan Collins) last year? For sure. But the polling was accurate in California last fall and it would have to miss by a much bigger margin than it missed in states like Wisconsin in 2020 for Elder to pull the upset. In fact, it would take an historic polling fail. Nate Cohn:

There was no state in either the 2016 or 2020 presidential elections where the final polls missed by 16 percentage points. Perhaps the worst recent polling miss — Senator Susan Collins’s comfortable nine-point victory after trailing in the polls by three points — is in the ballpark, but would still fall five points short of erasing Mr. Newsom’s lead.

Many of the most embarrassing and high-profile misses for pollsters, such as the seven-point polling errors in Wisconsin in 2016 and 2020, might still leave Mr. Newsom with a double-digit victory.

It is hard to find many precedents for such a large polling error. According to Harry Enten, a writer at CNN, there are only four cases in the last 20 years where the polling average in a race for governor was off by at least 15 percentage points.

It’s not an encouraging sign that both Trump and Elder have taken to preemptively crying fraud about the results. In fact, Elder’s campaign has already rolled out a website inviting people to report alleged cases of voter fraud in California. That site is barebones today but some of the language there yesterday suggested Elder is prepared to declare that he was cheated irrespective of the evidence — just like Trump did last fall:

“Statistical analyses used to detect fraud in elections held in 3rd-world nations (such as Russia, Venezuela, and Iran) have detected fraud in California resulting in Governor Gavin Newsom being reinstated as governor,” the site reads. “The primary analytical tool used was Benford’s Law and can be readily reproduced.”…

The page suggests voters may turn to the “ammo box” if they can’t trust the ballot box.

“They say that in America, there are four boxes of liberty. The soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and the ammo box,” the website reads, pledging to bring legal cases. “Will we now have to fight the California jury box, in the hope that the final box — the one most akin to Pandora’s — remains closed?”

How can a statistical analysis “have detected fraud” in an election whose results aren’t known yet? It can’t, obviously, which makes this the latest reminder that “rigged election” screeching is bad-faith propaganda designed to save face after a disappointing loss. Presumably Elder’s team had already drafted the language they intend to use to allege fraud when the race is eventually called and someone hit “publish” yesterday by accident.

The unsubtle threat of violence is a nice touch, though, since it’s true to the spirit of populism. “The people” can’t be defeated at the ballot box, and if they are, it can only have been due to cheating. In which case “the people” have no choice but to assert their will through other means.

Pundits on both sides are already preparing their spin on the results. If Newsom underperforms, it’ll be treated as a harbinger of Democratic apathy and/or Republican discontent and evidence that a red wave is gathering for next fall. Depending upon how tight the race is, the Dem establishment could find itself in a panic. If Newsom overperforms, California Republicans will be second-guessed for rallying behind a firebrand like Elder instead of a more moderate Republican like Kevin Faulconer. Tim Miller surveyed the electoral map today and noticed that firebrands from either party almost never win in states controlled by the opposition; the only exception is Sherrod Brown, a progressive who somehow keeps hanging onto his seat in Trump-dominated Ohio. Everywhere else that the minority party has managed to elect one of its own to statewide office, it’s done so by nominating a centrist. If Faulconer had been the GOP’s pick instead of Elder, the recall might have remained a referendum on Newsom’s tenure as governor instead of a choice between him and “Trump but worse.” And that would have left Newsom in trouble.

One other detail to watch out for in the results: How strongly do women end up backing Newsom? One recent poll had him winning two-thirds of women in California, a big number that will invite interpretation if he matches it in actual votes. Is it because Elder’s past comments about women alienated those voters? Is it because women who left work during the pandemic to care for out-of-school kids were worried about Elder slashing programs to help them manage? Is it because of the attention paid lately to Texas’s abortion law, with women in California galvanized by the attempt to undo Roe? The takes will be flying tomorrow if the race is called for Newsom tonight.





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Elections Canada warns maskless voters will be turned away at the polls

Elections Canada has stated that voters who refuse to wear a mask at the polls this election will be turned away from casting their ballots. 

In a statement made yesterday, a spokesperson for Elections Canada said that anyone who refuses to wear a mask “will be refused entry to the polling station” in any province or territory where an indoor mask mandate is in effect. 

For those provinces and territories without mandates, mandatory masks will still be enforced at polling stations where required by “the landlord leasing the space to Elections Canada.”

Blacklock’s Reporter disclosed that poll officers have been instructed to call police if necessary to enforce local pandemic rules.

In an incident on Friday, RCMP were summoned to an advance poll in West Kelowna, B.C. because of a mask dispute. Maskless voters in the end were permitted to cast ballots with no arrests or charges laid.

Elections Canada has said that medical exemptions from mask rules will be respected, stating: 

“Electors who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons will not be required to wear one, and they will not be asked for proof of medical exemption except for polling locations in Alberta schools, where proof of exemption is required by the school boards.”

That said, the spokesperson for Elections Canada added that poll officers have received specific instructions on dealing with maskless voters who claim a non-medical exemption:

“Elections Canada workers will explain the rules and not argue with the elector… if the situation escalates, they will call the police. If the situation continues to escalate they will close the polling place.”

The Canada Elections Act states that a returning officer may only eject a voter from a polling station if “the officer believes on reasonable grounds that the person has committed in the office or place an offence under this Act, any other Act of Parliament or any regulation made under any other Act of Parliament that threatens the maintenance of order.”

Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perreault told reporters in August that local mask rules would be strictly enforced, adding, “if you do not intend to vote with a mask, I would encourage you to vote by mail.”

Do you want to see real reporting this election? Go to RealReporters.ca to view our uncensored election coverage and donate to help us hold Canada’s leaders to account.





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California Gov. Newsom Facing Recall as Voters Hit the Polls

California Gov. Gavin Newsom ended his campaign to keep his job as voters headed to the polls on Tuesday to determine whether he should be recalled and potentially replaced by another candidate.

Newsom, a Democrat, recently received support from heavyweight members of his own party, including President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Vice President Kamala Harris.

On Monday night, Biden delivered a campaign speech for Newsom in California, attacking Republican challenger Larry Elder, a conservative radio and EpochTV host. Biden attempted to characterize Elder as a “Trump clone.”

“I’m going to make this as simple as I can, you either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor, or you’ll get Donald Trump. It’s not a joke,” Biden said. “In Gavin, you have a governor who shares the state’s values; in Gavin, you have a governor to make sure Donald Trump’s dark, destructive, divisive politics never finds a place in California.”

Elder, who could become California’s first black governor, called on Californians to vote yes in favor of the recall.

“Vote no for California’s future, Gavin? Vote YES. Vote YES for schools that serve our kids. Vote YES for managing our forests. Vote YES for safe & clean streets. Vote YES for California’s future,” he wrote on Twitter.

Republican recall candidate Larry Elder speaks in Westminster, Calif., on Sept. 4, 2021. (David McNew/Getty Images)

“Make sure you have your friends vote, vote, vote, and try and get 10 more friends to vote and hit every call, make every call, knock on every door, we’re gonna win this thing if we turn out the vote,” Elder also said from a hotel ballroom in Costa Mesa on Monday.

California voters on Tuesday are faced with two questions in the recall, whether Newsom should be recalled, and if he is recalled, who should replace him. Should more than 50 percent of voters cast their ballots to recall the governor, the top vote-getter in response to the second question would be named California’s governor.

Polls in the Golden State will close at 8 p.m. PT, but due to the large amount of mail-in ballots, it’s not clear when the election result will be finalized.

“There’s no scenario where we lose tomorrow,” Newsom strategist Sean Clegg told local news outlets.

But Thad Kousser, a political science professor at the University of California-San Diego, told local station KGTV that Republicans have a chance at polling stations on Tuesday.

“What we saw in the 2020 election is that Republicans in California now prefer to cast their ballots in person,” Kousser said. “So, as these vote centers have been opening up over the weekend and through election day, I think we’ll see the next group of voters coming in more strongly Republican.”

The campaign to oust the Democratic governor began with a conservative Republican group and gained steam during the pandemic. Proponents of the recall, angered by Newsom’s policies on immigration, crime, and homelessness also became infuriated by his decision to close schools and require masks and mandate vaccinations against COVID-19.

The animus against the governor’s COVID-19 mandates reached a boiling point when Newsom last year was seen dining in an upscale restaurant, the French Laundry, while he and others were not social distancing or wearing masks.

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

Senior Reporter

Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.





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Ontario gov’t polls citizens on support for removing COVID-19 nonconformists from their homes

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TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s chief pollster recently asked Ontarians a series of questions about COVID-19 measures, including whether or not they would support the Ford government jailing, detaining, fining, and monitoring those dissenting from the mainstream COVID-19 narrative.  

The screenshots from Campaign Research of the polling questions, which were distributed widely by Independent Provincial Member of Parliament (MPP) Randy Hiller, were initially leaked to No More Lockdowns Canada, an organization fighting against the tyrannical measures imposed on Canadians since the start of the COVID-19 “pandemic.” 

One of the questions asked Ontarians if they “support or oppose the government suspending civil liberties and rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the duration of the pandemic?” 

Another question asked Ontarians if they “support or oppose police being authorized to establish pedestrian check points” and “vehicle check points” in an effort to “enforce compliance with COVID-19 measures?” 

One of the more shocking questions was asking citizens if they “support police and health officials being authorized to separate” people by “removing [them] from [their] homes and housing them somewhere else?” with a follow-up question asking Ontarians if they “support or oppose fining or jailing those who spread disinformation about COVID-19?” 

According to the poll, examples of “disinformation” include “questioning the existence or seriousness of COVID-19″ and saying COVID-19 is “just the flu.” 

Hillier, who sent out the screenshots he received from the No More Lockdowns whistleblower, also included his thoughts and feelings about the province’s newfound line of inquiry.  

“Reading these were absolutely terrifying. Suspending civil rights and liberties? Vehicle and pedestrian checkpoints? Police removing people from their homes? Jailing and fining those who hold dissenting opinions?” Hillier said. 

“These are very serious and concerning questions the government is asking,” he added.  

Hillier, who has supported open and honest debate about COVID-19 measures and was even criminally charged for hosting a protest against them, also expressed frustration with the media and politicians, who continue to refuse to engage with anyone who holds views that diverge, even in marginal ways, from official government opinion. 

“The media and politicians have cast the narratives in the extremes; on one side you are either a denier or conspiracy theorist or you fall in the other category of virtuous and selfless. There is no middle ground, there is in fact, no discussion, even though public policy demands debate and discussion in a free and democratic society,” he stated.  

A recent example of the “no discussion” phenomenon was when Maxime Bernier, federal leader of the People’s Party of Canada, whose party has vowed to end draconian COVID-19 measures, was prohibited from participating in the federal leaders’ debates. 

Not long after Bernier was barred from the debates, Rebel News had their “accreditation” stripped by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s debate commission, leaving the conservative news organization banned from access to the debates as well. 

Rebel News eventually won in court and had their accreditation reinstated, allowing them access to the debates and proving that the right each Canadian possess to be treated equally and without discrimination, under the law still applies. 

According to constitutional lawyer Rocco Galati, all of the COVID-19-inspired measures, including but not limited to lockdowns, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, masking, and limits on gatherings, violate Section 2, Section 7, and Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: 

Section 2: Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of religion, expression, peaceful assembly, and association.  

Section 7: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.  

Section 15 (1): Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination. 

In his call to action in response to the poll, Hillier told the public: 

“If this bothers you [the type of questions asked in the poll], if you are concerned about the direction we’re headed, then please consider the following: 

If you live outside my riding with a PC [Progressive Conservative] MPP, send them these screenshots, if you are a constituent, consider reaching out to the Premier and ask: ‘Why is your government contemplating removing my rights and liberties? Why is your government talking about forcefully removing citizens from their home and setting up Soviet-style checkpoints?’ Ask via email, phone, letter, and social media. If you share on social media, be sure to share with me and the press.” 





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Polls close Tuesday in recall vote for Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom

Balloting on whether to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom ends Tuesday. 

Critics of the Democratic governor got enough valid signatures this spring on a petition to recall Newsom, with mail-in ballots coming in since last month. 

Residents are trying to recall Newsom, and replace with somebody new, in large part over their dissatisfaction with his handling of the pandemic and other issues including the state’s homelessness problem and housing shortage. 

Though the effort to oust Newsom started strong, the incumbent governor’s multi-million dollar ad campaign, the state’s decidedly liberal electorate and visits from Democratic Party leaders including President Biden on Monday appear to have helped Newsom save his job.

Poll numbers Tuesday from the pollster fivethirtyeight.com show 57.3% of voters want to keep the governor, while 41.5% want to remove him. 



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