LOS ANGELES — Some of the key players in the California recall election made final pitches Tuesday as voters went to the polls.
Voters were first deciding whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. Then they were able to vote on a replacement from a field of mostly GOP candidates. Polls have shown the recall effort struggling and talk-show host Larry Elder leading among Republicans by a large margin.
Newsom and GOP candidate Caitlyn Jenner both addressed conspiracy theories about election irregularities. Some right-wing activists — as well as Elder — began sowing unfounded doubts about the integrity of the vote. In some ways, the moves are an extension of the conspiracy theories and false claims that started when Donald Trump lost the presidency to Joe Biden.
Elder, who had made no public appearance Tuesday by early evening, has refused to answer whether he will accept the election results if the recall effort fails. He recently added a section to his campaign website called “stop fraud” where voters can report irregularities.
Here is what the candidates had to say:
—GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM
Newsom gave an eleventh-hour stump speech to rally supporters Tuesday at a San Francisco union hall, encouraging them to reach out and get people to the polls to vote no on the effort to recall him.
“We can’t allow the economy, not just our public health, to be impacted by a wrong decision tonight at 8 o’clock,” he told the cheering crowd, with his wife and daughter standing by his side. “So what are we going to do? We will turn out and vote no on this recall.”
Newsom addressed questions from reporters about claims that the election results could be falsified.
“This election fraud stuff is a crock; it’s shameful. And when I say that, I mean that,” he said. “Guys like me come and go. We’re a dime a dozen, politicians. Quite literally a dime a dozen. It’s about our institutions. It’s about this nation. It’s about trust and confidence.”