Recall Gascón committee sues county, claiming thousands of signatures wrongly rejected

Recall “L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon” campaign volunteers and supporters begin to unload the boxes of signatures from the back of a moving truck so that they may be submitted to the L.A. County Registrar of Voters office in this July file photo. July 6, 2022. Courtesy photo.

The committee to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has filed a lawsuit that contends the committee has evidence that tens of thousands of petition signatures were wrongly rejected and seeks the certification of the recall petition. 

The complaint was submitted for filing on Friday and is, at the time of this publication, awaiting review and acceptance by the L.A. County Superior Court.  

“I think this is such an important point (in the committee) because we are, for the first time, putting forth the evidence and substantiation to show that this recall should have been certified all along,” said Tim Lineberger, spokesman for the Recall Gascón committee. “The people of Los Angeles were robbed of their opportunity to remove George Gascón and that’s extremely troubling because of the damage that his policies continue to inflict on the county every single day.” 

A statement from the committee read that it has evidence the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s office confirmed, in writing, there was an inflated signature requirement at the time the petition was rejected. The committee is also saying the complaint provides evidence of incorrectly rejected signatures and unlawfully rejected signatures.  

In July 2022, the committee submitted 715,833 signatures in support of the recall petition – which, at the time, was 148,976 more than the 566,857 signatures that were necessary to trigger a recall election, which represented 10% of the number of registered voters in L.A. County.  

The registrar’s office tossed 195,758 signatures based on a variety of reasons, which the committee lawsuit is also disputing. The lawsuit alleges 94,000 of the signatures the Registrar’s office rejected were reviewed by the committee and it found that “no fewer than 20,587” signatures should have been counted but weren’t.  

The committee stated that, contrary to the registrar’s certification, it submitted at least 546,234 valid signatures, which would potentially exceed the amount needed to trigger a recall.   

“The gravity of the registrar’s errors cannot be emphasized enough. The registrar disenfranchised over 26,000 Los Angeles County citizens – and likely many more – by wrongly refusing to count their signatures in support of the Recall Petition,” read a statement by the committee. “Moreover, by intentionally overstating the number of signatures required to qualify the recall petition, and by erroneously rejecting these tens of thousands of recall petition signatures, the registrar deprived all citizens of Los Angeles County of their fundamental, constitutional right to vote on whether to recall the county’s top law enforcement official who is charged with protecting their safety and the safety of their families and loved ones.” 

Mike Sanchez, spokesman for the registrar’s office, issued a response saying, “As with the other claims made by the recall proponents, we will respond in accordance with the legal framework without regard to the political narrative.” 

The District Attorney’s Office was not immediately available for comment.  

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