On Friday evening — the witching hour for bad news — California Secretary of State Shirley Weber reported that 1,094,457 signatures had been received in the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. Of those signatures 668,202 had been verified by local election officials, a process which must take place before they can be counted. About 140,000 additional signatures were found to be invalid.
More than 296,000 signatures remain to be confirmed — or rejected — by election officials in the counties with which each signature corresponds. The recall effort needs at total of about 1.5 million valid signatures to trigger a special election, likely in November.
Recall organizers have indicated they would like to submit 2 million signatures to ensure there are enough valid entires to guarantee success.
Organizers have to submit all signatures by March 17. Election officials will then have until April 29 to verify them.
Friday’s announcement covers signatures submitted by February 5. Recall proponents say they have collected 1.7 million signatures to date. They say 1.2 million have been submitted to elections officials thusfar.
According to the Sacramento Bee, proponents submitted 370,000 signatures between January 7 and February 5. If indeed they have collected 1.7 million signatures, and if they are able to collect signatures at the same clip over the next month, organizers would make their goal of 2 million signatures.
Newsom, in what amounts to a political counteroffensive, has been barnstorming the state in the past two weeks opening mass vaccination sites and appearing with local officials who have extolled his leadership.
On Wednesday, for instance, Newsom visited Coachella where mayor Steven Hernandez praised the governor for his visit to the area. Hernandez said the governor’s “decisive leadership throughout this pandemic…saved millions of lives. Millions more are alive because of this governor.”