New Jersey voters are not interested in having a recall process for their Governor made any easier according to a poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind. Three out of four New Jersey voters (73%) have heard at least something about the recall process on the opposite coast, and a majority (54%) say they have heard quite a bit or a lot about the unusual electoral event. But 70% of New Jersey voters say the Garden State’s own recall process should be left alone. Only 25% say the process should be made easier.
While New Jersey has a procedure for recalling the governor, the process is exceedingly difficult and highly unlikely. The New Jersey process requires the signatures of 25% of all New Jersey registered voters. That would be about 1.2 million signatures which would have to be gathered within 320 days. New Jersey is one of just 18 states that provides for a recall process. The amendment to the state constitution was approved by voters in 1993. If a recall vote were successful, the President of the State Senate would succeed to the office of Governor “for the time being” -— rather than having a combined ballot as in California.
“The California recall process has not impressed the public as a great example of the democratic process,” according to Bruce Larson, professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University and co-editor with Larry J. Sabato of Dangerous Democracy? The Battle over Ballot Initiatives in America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001). “California has impressed the public as a celebrity circus.”
New Jersey’s voters reject the idea of making their recall process for governor any easier even though they give poor marks to their incumbent governor. In the most recent PublicMind poll, 61% of New Jersey voters believe the Governor should be replaced with a new person, while only 27% think he deserves reelection. Moreover, a majority of voters (52%) say their state is off on the wrong track while only a third (33%) say the state is headed in the right direction.
The most recent PublicMind poll was taken of 810 registered voters from September 24 through September 30 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.
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