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Wednesday Is Deadline For Newsom Recall Election Signatures

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Sacramento, CA – The deadline for those pushing to get a recall election put on the ballot for Gov. Gavin Newsome is Wednesday.

Those organizers tout that they have collected more than the 1.5 million signatures needed to have a recall election, touting that number is actually over 2 million signatures since June. All must be submitted to county election officials by tomorrow. In turn, those officials will have until April 29 to verify the authenticity of signatures and notify the secretary of state of the results.

As the months-long review gets underway tomorrow to determine if – and when – the election will get on the ballot. The Democratic governor has seen his popularity tumble as public unrest spread over long-running school and business closures during the pandemic, a still-unfolding unemployment benefits scandal and attending a party with friends and lobbyists while telling residents to stay home. So far, more than 80% of the signatures turned in have been validated.

It is not just a matter of turning in petitions. A series of bureaucratic checkpoints must be cleared before the secretary of state’s office determines that the requirements for scheduling a recall election have been satisfied. The agency is headed by Shirley Weber, a former Democratic legislator Newsom appointed in December.

One time-consuming step along the way includes giving voters a 30-day window to withdraw their names if they choose. It is unclear if Democrats are planning to launch a major advertising drive to urge them to do just that. On Monday, Newsom announced that he has started raising money to defend his seat.

No dates have been finalized, but the state Finance Department is expected to take 30 days to produce a cost estimate for the election, which Democrats say could surpass $80 million. Then, a legislative panel gets another month to review those findings. After that, the state can formally certify that enough valid signatures have been collected.

The next step if that happens, Democratic Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis is required to schedule the election in 60 to 80 days. With all those requirements met, It could take until September before an election date is scheduled, and both sides anticipate the election will be in November.

Already, two Republicans have announced their candidacies: Kevin Faulconer, the former Republican mayor of San Diego, and Republican businessman John Cox, who was defeated by Newsom in 2018. Another name being discussed is former President Donald Trump’s then-acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell.