With roughly two months to its signature deadline, the Recall Gov. Gavin Newsom petition reached 60 percent of its required signatures by New Year’s Eve, surpassing 911,000 verified signatures.
To be added to a ballot, 1,495,709 signatures are needed.
The number of signatures already gathered is more than what it took to qualify the Gray Davis Recall, State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, the northern California conservative who has successfully sued the governor, notes.
“Governor Gavin Newsom has failed Californians,” the recall states. “Unaffordable housing. Record homelessness. Rising crime. Failing schools. Independent contractors thrown out of work. Exploding pension debt. And now, a locked down population while the prisons are emptied. Hold Gavin Newsom accountable. Gavin Newsom must go.”
Shortly before New Year’s Eve, the site announced that it had surpassed 911,000 signatures, reaching 60 percent of its goal.
“While Californians were ordered to stay home during the holidays by Governor Newsom, the people have responded overwhelmingly to our recall campaign by signing the petition from the comfort of their own homes. This is a revolution,” senior adviser to RecallGavin2020.com, Randy Economy, said in a news release.
A spokesman for the governor said the recall is a misuse of time that could be spent “reopening schools and businesses.” He told Fox 5 San Diego that a recall would “waste $100 million on a special election redo, mere months before a regularly scheduled election.”
But “the quickest way to reopen schools and businesses, of course, is to remove the Governor who’s arbitrarily closing them,” Kiley argued.
In his new book, “Recall Newsom,” Kiley argues, “California’s response to COVID-19 has been the worst in America, with incomparable economic destruction, loss of life, and violations of democratic norms.”
Kiley successfully prosecuted a lawsuit against Newsom, winning a judgment from a California Superior Court, which issued an injunction on the governor’s ongoing issuance of executive orders, arguing doing so violated the California Constitution. A hearing on the appeal has not yet been scheduled.
A recall allows “the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire,” the California Secretary of State’s Office says. “It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives.”
It only applies to state and local officials, not federal officers.
Once the required number of signatures is received, the petition is filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. For a recall of a statewide officer, a petition must be signed by registered voters equal in number to 12 percent of the last vote for the office. Signatures must be obtained from at least five different counties and must be equal in number to at least one percent of the last vote for the office in each of five counties.
Once the Secretary of State determines that the petition has the requisite number of valid signatures to initiate a recall election, the Department of Finance must be notified, and within 30 business days consult with county elections officials and the Secretary of State to estimate the cost of the recall election. The estimated cost is then submitted to the governor, Secretary of State, and Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, according to state election code.
Then the Joint Legislative Budget Committee has 30 days to review and comment on the cost estimate.
Once the Secretary of State tells the governor that there is a sufficient number of valid signatures to initiate a recall election, the governor is required by state election code to publish a notice for the holding of the recall election.
The Recall Election must be called by the governor and held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days from the date of certification of sufficient signatures, according to the state constitution.
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