Would you sign a recall petition to remove Christie from office? (Poll)
The call for Chris Christie to voluntarily leave office has grown louder. Now the Star Ledger editorial board has joined the Gannett papers throughout New Jersey in calling on the governor to step down. Unlike Gannett, they stopped short of imploring the public to consider a recall movement.
I personally would not sign a recall petition. The New Jersey Recall Amendment passed in 1993. The way it works starts with at least three registered voters forming a committee to recall an elected official. They then have to be given the go-ahead by election officials.
The petition seeks the signature of "other registered voters in the jurisdiction", which in this case would be the entire state of New Jersey. 25% of all registered voters would have to sign it in order to bring about a special recall election.
Think about the record low voter turnout last year on a day everyone knew it was Election Day. 21%. The special election held that elected Cory Booker to the Senate had a turnout of 24.8%. Even in Christie's blowout win over Buono in 2013, 62% of registered voters stayed home and only 38% showed up at the polls. Enough signatures for a recall of a statewide office is a tough putt.
Is the appetite to remove Christie from office early strong enough to get 25% of registered voters involved in a petition? Also consider the recall committee has 320 days in which to get these signatures. If this recall effort began today, and let's say it took all 320 days to get the needed 25%, that puts us at January 17th of next year before a special recall election would even be scheduled. Then say it's scheduled swiftly, to take place in February. That puts us at 9 months away from the next scheduled gubernatorial election anyway.
So is it worth it? Especially at a time when we can't even find the money to fix our roads? The special election that got Cory Booker into the U.S. Senate cost an estimated $12 million. It would be easier and less disruptive to let the legislature deal with a no-show governor and have Republicans find the will to overturn vetoes rather than force him from office.