This article was originally posted to SD Rostra, and submitted by the author
The entry of conservative talk show célèbre Larry Elder in the California governor’s recall election last week gave many Republicans and conservatives a rallying figure in what they otherwise saw as a moribund field.
The deadline to qualify for the ballot as a Governor Gavin Newsom replacement candidate was Friday. Late Saturday, Secretary of State Shirley Weber issued a list of those candidates, yet both The LA Times and Associated Press did stories confirming that Elder’s name wasn’t included.
What followed Saturday and well into today was political circles lighting up, mostly in the quickly moving echo chamber of social media, with cries of “What happened?!” and lots of blame and finger-pointing all around.
By Saturday night, the Elder campaign issued a statement, saying they expected him to be on the final list of candidates issued next week. “Our campaign submitted every document required by the Secretary of State and the Los Angeles County Registrar,” said Ying Ma of the Elder team.
This did not satisfy the complainers, mostly because few saw it by the time the rumors created a Facebook tidal wave of angst.
Dozens of times over the years, I’ve witnessed this scenario:
A candidate running for office submits his/her qualifying papers on deadline day — a Friday — to the local Registrar of Voters (along with dozens of other “last minute” candidates).
The Registrar’s office works late on Friday and often even Saturday to process as much of the several candidates’ paperwork as possible. But it’s typically not possible, nor required, to have it all done until the next week.
So, over the weekend people start looking at the candidate list and see their particular candidate didn’t qualify to run. They start freaking out. In actuality, the list only reflects those candidates whose paperwork has been completely reviewed and accepted. It’s not the final list.
By the middle of the next week, the Registrar completes the process, the list is updated, and all is again good in the world when nothing was ever wrong in the first place.
Now, play that scenario out for a statewide office. Even more complex than a single county, the signatures required may be submitted to the filing officers (Registrars) in various counties, each then feeding them to the Secretary of State’s office.
Was the Saturday list of qualified candidates the final, final one? Or, just the final one? LOL.
The Elder campaign says nope, the real list isn’t released until July 21.
Maybe everyone needs to keep their proverbial knickers on and swallow some chill. Enjoy the weekend.
We’ll know more. Tomorrow’s Monday. Bet your bottom dollar it is.