Governor recall proponents meet signature threshold

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
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Proponents of the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, have met the threshold for verified signatures, California Secretary of State Sherley Weber announced Monday. 

County election officials from across the state had verified 1,626,042 signatures — 130,333 over the 1,495,709 signatures required — by the signature-collection deadline of March 17. Counties found 400,575 invalid signatures since June 10, 2020, when recall proponents started collecting signatures.   

Voters who signed the recall petition have until June 8 to remove their name from the petition. 

“This now triggers the next phase of the recall process, a 30-business-day period in which voters may submit written requests to county registrars of voters to remove their names from the recall petition,” Weber said in a prepared statement. “A recall election will be held unless a sufficient number of signatures are withdrawn.” 

A voter would need to provide their name, address and signature to their county elections official to be removed from the recall petition. Counties have until Thursday to verify the validity of any remaining signatures.  

If the number of signatures is still sufficient after June 8, the California Department of Finance will have 30 business days to estimate the cost of the recall election, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. 

“The Joint Legislative Budget Committee will have 30 calendar days to review and comment on those estimates before the lieutenant governor sets the date for the recall election,” the Secretary of State’s office said of the following steps in the process. 

Orrin Heatlie, the recall campaign’s lead proponent, is a Republican and served in law enforcement for 25 years. 

Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, also noted Newsom’s record. 

“I personally know independent voters, Democrats, and Republicans who have signed this recall petition. Millions of people in California feel unrepresented and forgotten by this governor, and now both sides will get an opportunity to make their case,” said Valladares. “Failures like the governor’s Employment Development Department sending billions of dollars to convicted felons instead of the unemployed law-abiding workers who earned those benefits is just one example of where Californians have been let down.” 

Local Democrats expressed their disappointment Monday in response to the Secretary of State’s announcement.  

“It is a shame that the party that claims to hold fiscal responsibility as one of their platforms is willing to waste millions of Californian taxpayer dollars on politically driven attacks on our governor,” said Andrew Taban, chairman of Santa Clarita Valley Democrats. “The GOP is clearly focused on getting the state to spend taxpayer money on an unnecessary election instead of spending those crucial funds to save Californian lives during this pandemic.” 

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