Verification of signatures begins in effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom

If all the signatures are legitimate, a recall election would happen sometime this summer.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Posted at 4:35 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 12:33:09-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — The process of verifying signatures continues in the recall effort for Governor Gavin Newsom.

Organizers of Recall Gavin 2020 said it has collected more than 1.5 million signatures. Now those in charge of the movement must verify all of them. If all the signatures are legitimate, a recall election would happen sometime this summer.

How Does a Recall Work?

For the recall of state officials, proponents must file a notice-of-intent-to-recall petition signed by 65 voters to begin the petition drive process. For the actual petition, signatures must equal a percentage of the total number of votes most recently cast for the targeted office - 12% for executive officials and 20% for state legislators and judges. Additionally, the petition must include signatures from each of at least five counties equal in number to 1% of the last vote for the office in that county.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required.

If each required step of the recall procedure took the maximum time allotted in state law, a recall election would take place between October 6 and October 26, 2021. The exact date of the recall election could vary significantly depending on the length of time certain steps of the recall process take, but the lieutenant governor is required to schedule an election within 60 to 80 days of the certification of signatures. State law allows a larger gap if desired to combine the recall election with a general election, but the next general election in California is scheduled for June 2022, beyond the legally allowed timeframe.

President Joe Biden recently spoke out about the effort saying he doesn't agree with the fight to remove Newsom.

The cause gained momentum as some Californians grew increasingly discontent with the way Newsom handled the coronavirus pandemic.