Donald Trump Says California Recall Election 'Probably Rigged' by Democrats

Former President Donald Trump has said the upcoming gubernatorial recall election in California is "probably rigged," less than a week before voters are due to go the polls.

Trump made the claim on Tuesday during an interview with Newsmax's Rob Schmitt. His comments echoed his repeated claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him.

The recall election aiming to remove Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom will take place on September 14 and mail-in voting is already underway—a fact Trump highlighted while suggesting the contest was rigged.

Schmitt asked Trump about the recall election during a phone interview on Tuesday night.

"Well, it's probably rigged," Trump said. "They're sending out all ballots. It's all—the ballots are, you know, mail-out, mail-in ballots."

"In fact, I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot," Trump went on.

"When that happens, nobody's gonna win except these Democrats," the former president said. "The one thing they're good at is rigging elections, so I predict it's a rigged election."

However, the former president did not offer any evidence to show that the election was rigged. Trump has made similar complaints about the use of mail-in ballots in the 2020 election.

Trump, on Newsmax, claims the recall election in California is "probably rigged" (as if Democrats can't win elections there fair and square) pic.twitter.com/gPbSq0XHGN

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 8, 2021

Trump's comments come after some conservatives claimed in August that the recall election is being "rigged" against Republican radio host Larry Elder through design features of the ballots.

A San Francisco Chronicle fact check published on August 20 noted that the design features—such as punched holes in the return envelope—are a standard part of the ballots.

The former president's comment about being able to "make your own ballot" is likely a reference to California's Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM) system, which allows voters with a disability or living overseas to vote via an electronic ballot that they can fill out using compatible technology.

The option is available to all voters for the recall election and the completed ballot must be printed and mailed in an envelope signed by the voter. This can be the envelope sent to the voter by the state or their own.

Polling suggests Newsom will defeat the recall election this month. In order to remove the Democrat from office, 50 percent of voters will have to vote to recall him.

If that threshold is reached, Newsom will be replaced by whichever candidate wins the most votes on the replacement list. A sitting governor cannot run as his own replacement and California Democrats have not nominated a candidate to run as a possible replacement.

Elder, a conservative radio host, is leading the field of candidates seeking to unseat Newsom and is the most likely to replace the governor if enough voters decide to recall.

Trump Speaks at a Rally in Arizona
Former President Donald Trump prepares to speak at the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on July 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Trump claimed on Tuesday that California's recall election is "probably rigged." Brandon Bell/Getty Images