Money spent on recall could have been better used

Now that Gavin Newsom has taken back the reins from what could have been the end of his career as governor of California, residuals from the process have become more apparent as the expenditures of the recall election become more clear.

While the recall, which was rejected by 63% of voters, was unnecessary and a way for Republicans to try and take control of California, the process might have hurt Californians more than it benefited them.

According to the California Department of Finance, staging the recall election cost the state $276 million. This money could have been used efficiently elsewhere to fund schools, create recreational centers, help in-need communities, help the housing crisis victims, or create a difference that would have at least been noticeable by Californians.

There are a million different things that could have been done instead. For instance, it costs about $23,244 to put a student through a year of college in California nowadays according to Education Data, a nonprofit organization promoting transparent education statistics. The money spent on the recall could have put 12,000 students through college. This would have inevitably helped the economy a few years down the line with the value these graduates would have brought to the community. It is a far cry from where we stand now.

Though $276 million might seem like a lot as it is, that was not the only amount that was spent surrounding the recall.

Advocacy against the recall far outweighed the supporters, the supporters for the recall only raised $16.5 million according to the secretary of state’s website, while a large sum, quite a stark contrast to the $80 million raised by the opposition for the recall. And that does not even get into the money individual candidates spent on their ill-fated campaigns.

These donations could have been in better hands as tangible forms of help, like food to people suffering from hunger or books for children. Instead this money was spent on ideas that were already set in tone to be agreed upon by the majority of people.

This was basically a useless process we all knew the outcome to. Newsom was obviously going to win because of his success at maintaining the coronavirus death and infectious rates low through legal mandates all across California. Smaller states could barely keep their head above water while Newsom had created mandates that made it possible for those numbers to decrease.

All told, the state spent nearly $400 million to entertain a political tantrum thrown by a vast minority of Californians. It was certainly disheartening having to witness those valuable funds reduced to a piece of paper with two questions.

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