Dawson says Alabama Needs Voter Recall
The next time an elected official runs on a platform that we embrace, only to ditch campaign promises and betray our trust, we need the ability to hold that official accountable. The next time a governor closes the office door and abuses his power and our trust, we shouldn’t have to wait on the Attorney General or the Alabama Legislature to act.
In addition to working with the Alabama Legislature to enact term limits, we'll also work to give Alabama voters another option to hold their elected officials accountable: voter recall.
The people of nineteen other states have the ability to recall an elected official to stand before voters and face removal by referendum and I want the people of Alabama to have this same ability.
California's Governor Gray Davis was removed from office by voter recall after implementing two highly restrictive gun laws and then the people elected Arnold Schwarzenegger. This doesn’t mean small groups can wrecklessly remove good leaders. Remember the failed recall of Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker, where voters supported his efforts to fight unions in his state and voted to keep him as their governor in 2012? The unions came after Governor Walker and the people stood with him.
I will propose a recall provision that gives the people recall ability while requiring a high threshold to both initiate the process and have the official recalled—based on the requirements in other states. These qualifications will prevent reckless recall attempts which would waste time, effort, and money.
Having a recall option doesn't guarantee that an elected official will even stand for a recall election, much less that they would be removed, but can you imagine the difference in leadership and honesty that will come with just the threat of recall? Now more than ever, the carrot of re-election doesn't seem to work as well as it once did. Alabama needs a stick to ensure that promises made are, in fact, promises kept.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment.