The Week: Chris Christie Will Keep His Job—For Now
The Week examines whether Chris Christie might face recall from Jersey voters who, after all, just put him back into office by an overwhelming amount—before, of course, the Bridgegate scandal started haunting him and his political outlook. The magazine says Christie won’t be recalled for awhile yet, in large part because he can’t:
The first big problem for recall proponents is that voters will have to wait a year. New Jersey bars a recall from starting until the governor has served one year in his current term. Since he was just inaugurated, voters will have to wait to get the recall started. This law is significantly harder than ones in most jurisdictions. Some allow a recall to start immediately, others require a three- or six-month grace period. Wisconsin and Michigan also have a one-year reprieve. That lock-up time is designed to prevent a quick rerun of the election.
The other issue is the overwhelming amount of signatures needed to get on the ballot. New Jersey law mandates that voters collect the signatures of 25 percent of registered voters. That’s 1,377,762 valid signatures. This is more than double what was needed in Wisconsin to get Scott Walker’s recall on the ballot. It is also almost 500,000 more signatures than were needed to get the recall of California Gov. Gray Davis on the ballot in 2003, despite the fact that California’s population then was more than 3.5 times the size of New Jersey’s today. Wisconsin and California also have more lenient and more established signature gathering practices. New Jersey is likely to have many more failed signatures. The state does allow a lot of time to collect the signatures — 320 days, probably the longest timeframe in the country — but voters would still need an unprecedented amount of signatures just to get on the ballot.
Of course, there’s nothing to keep Christie from resigning in disgrace right this moment. You know, if it suddenly seems necesu