Voters elect total recall for Davis:

Arnold to eliminate license fees

Campus Times
October 10, 2003


by Matt Paulson
Editor in Chief

For the first time since Lynn Frazier received the boot as governor of North Dakota in 1921, it has happened.

The California recall, despite its perpetual uncertainties during its short life, has come full circle. Gov. Gray Davis is out. Action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger is in.

During his campaign, Schwarzenegger kept most of his details about fixing California's budget and cleaning up Sacramento behind an enigmatic shroud. On Tuesday, Californians took a leap of faith.

"In this kind of an accelerated race, people who are charismatic don't have to give us too many details about their plan," said Gitty Amini, assistant professor of political science at the University of La Verne. "There is a danger in that."

However, the time of reckoning is upon Schwarzenegger. Tumultuous times lie ahead. A looming $8 billion deficit nags California in the coming fiscal year. This deficit could increase by $4 billion if Schwarzenegger achieves his first order of business: rescinding the recently tripled car tax.

During his campaign, Schwarzenegger pledged to rid California of this deficit without raising taxes. As of Wednesday, the Governor-elect was touting his plan to negotiate with Indian tribes to increase the state's cut in casino revenues.

"We are in a financial crises now, and I want them to participate," Schwarzenegger said during a press conference Wednesday.

Also, an independent audit of the state's books will take place before program cuts are revealed.

Schwarzenegger, who drives and helped make popular the gas-guzzling Hummer, also articulated interest in promoting clean air and water through hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Helping undocumented immigrants sparked the governor-elect's interest. He wants to provide immigrants with temporary work permits, along with providing undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before August 2003 the opportunity to apply for visas; this is based on a bill introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz).

In Tuesday's election, Schwarzenegger won the support of the support of nearly 50 percent of California voters including 25 percent of Democrats, beating out Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante by more than 15 percentage points.

Schwarzenegger received 48.7 percent of the vote, which translated to just more than 3.7 million. His closest competitor, Bustamante, received 2.4 million votes, or about 32 percent.

The body-builder-turned-actor-governor-elect may nevertheless be looking at an abbreviated honeymoon period in Sacramento. He will be battling a largely Democratic state legislature, much of which is still clutching to a sense of hostility raised by the recall.

To vote the "Terminator" star into the state's top job Tuesday, voters made their way to the more than 15,000 polling precincts to decipher one of 80 versions of the ballot, on which the order of names was shuffled to prevent any advantage of being listed toward the top.

So what happens now? First, the election must be certified, which includes an arduous process of vote tabulation that could take around a month.

Tabulation of votes received by the precincts Tuesday began yesterday. This is continuation of the official canvass, which started with the certification of absentee ballots that were received prior to election day. Counties must work at least six hours a day-excluding weekends and holidays-tabulating the official canvass until completion.

During this time, officials must count all valid provisional and absentee ballots.

Then, after counting all valid write-ins and reproducing any necessary damaged ballots, officials conduct a hand count of the ballots cast in 1 percent of randomly chosen precincts.

Twenty-nine days after the election, the official canvass must be completed, and, by the 35th day, counties must submit a report to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley.

As for this election, the Secretary of State's office said it was too early to determine when the counties will be completing their official canvasses, but counties generally take right up until the deadline.

"I just don't have an estimate," the Secretary of state's press office said yesterday.

The Secretary of State then has until Nov. 15 to swear Schwarzenegger in as the new governor of California.