On Tuesday night, after the recall election was called in favor of Gov. Gavin Newsom, leading challenger Larry Elder conceded the election.
“We recognize that we lost that battle, but we are certainly going to win the war,” Elder said.
While normally a standard part of any election, the statement was a surprise to many after earlier in the week Elder said he might not accept the outcome of the election. His campaign even started a website to track allegations of voter fraud. Former President Donald Trump also made claims about California election security without any evidence to back them up.
As California Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber runs elections for the state. Part of her job now is reacting to claims of potential voter fraud and educating voters about the process.
Weber spoke with CapRadio’s Randol White about the security of the state’s voting process as the election enters the counting phase.
On her thoughts hearing influential people claim that California's voting process is rigged
We hope that we don't become too hardened against the allegations that are untrue, you know, because these are not new allegations. If so, we'd probably be shocked. But they're old allegations. But at the same time, I don't want to become at a point where I just start ignoring them, because every now and then there may be a grain of truth in some of it. So we want to make sure that every allegation is looked at in a logical manner without saying, here we go again.
On what statements like that do to the democratic process as a whole
Before I became secretary of state, I said [to] someone that we have a fragile democracy. And I don't think people here realize it because we've had people who believe so much in what we do as a democracy to constantly put ourselves second and not first. You know, we will generally say, OK, you know, I'll concede the election or I'll do this or that because it's for the good of the country. But just to attack for no reason, to create a sense of frenzy among the public, weakens this democracy. And so what we see, which was shocking to all of us, was January 6th. That's a serious issue. And we need to make sure that our comments that we make about the democracy are helpful and help us to strengthen it rather than just allegations because we didn't win an election and we want to win an election.
On how she plans to address the issue so Californians can feel secure in their vote in 2022
Yeah, and that's a real challenge. We've tried to do a couple of things on helping people understand the democracy itself and what this democracy is about and how they can help. Because, you know, we don't do a lot of civic education. And so our first effort at dealing with the question of voting rights and what it means and the struggle to get it and how it fits into this whole democracy that we have, the first one will be at Fresno in the next two weeks. We're going to be doing where we'll have some in-person discussion with young people as well as with Dolores Huerta is with me on the first one, as well as we'll be doing a live on Facebook and other places. And so we plan to do one there. We've got one I think scheduled for Sacramento. Someone has asked us to come to Merced.
So we hope to in the next 12 months, hopefully we'll do one a month, to be able to be up and down the state to really educate Californians. I mean, I think much of our challenge is really educating us about what we have, you know, what this democracy means and what their role is in maintaining it.
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