A paperwork mistake means California Gov. Gavin Newsom can't identify himself as a Democrat in the upcoming recall election. It seems that Newsom's office missed the deadline to submit his party affiliation, and a judge in Sacramento declined to give the governor a do-over on Monday, reports the Los Angeles Times. Newsom previously acknowledged the gaffe, and he sued his own secretary of state to make the fix, but Superior Court Judge James P. Arguelles shot him down on Monday, per Courthouse News. Newsom's name will still be on the ballot; it just won't have any party affiliation next to it.
"Circumstances do not justify excuse from the deadline," wrote the judge, per CNN. The governor's many, many opponents—including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, GOP Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and Caitlyn Jenner—can list their party affiliation, assuming they made the deadline. Newsom could still appeal, and it's possible the mistake won't have much of an effect on the outcome anyway. CNBC reports that the latest polls suggest Newsom is likely to prevail in September. "COVID has waned, the economy is resurging and there are far more Democrats than Republicans in this state that will vote in favor of him," says a former aide to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who won the governorship in a recall vote of his own. "I think Newsom should be in good shape." (Read more Gavin Newsom stories.)