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California

Petition to recall Gov. Newsom surpasses 2 million signature goal

The campaign behind the petition to recall Governor Gavin Newsom announced that they have surpassed their 2 million signature goal.

Organizers announced on Wednesday that the petition now has a total of 2,060,000 signatures with just a week to go before the deadline.

The campaign needs 1,495,709 million of those signatures to be verified in order of a recall election to take place later this year. That number makes up 12% of the 12,464,235 votes cast in the last election for Governor, according to the Secretary of State's website.

Check Out: Cathedral City man part of team leading recall effort targeting Governor Gavin Newsom

Campaign officials said that 1,871,573 signatures have been pre-verified internally through an outside third party vendor. 1,800,000 signatures have been turned into 58 different county registrar of voter offices

The Secretary of State's last report on the recall campaign from Feb. 5, 2021 shows the state verified 668,168 signatures. At the time, the petition had 798,310 signatures.

The SOS Feb. 5 report shows that 80,490 of those verified signatures came from Riverside County, the third most of the state's counties. Only Los Angeles and Orange counties had more signatures. Riverside County has the fourth largest population among the 58 counties.

Note: According to SOS, the next report will be released on March 18 and should include turned in by the proponent between February 6, 2021, and March 11, 2021, as well as the cumulative number of signatures submitted since June 10.

Recall elections have different rules than traditional elections, as CalMatters pointed out earlier this week.

Even if Newsom gets more votes than his challengers, he could still lose his job.

In recall elections, voters are first asked whether they would like to get rid of the incumbent. The next part is selecting a replacement from the list of challengers. Newsom, the incumbent, would not be on the list.

If the "yes" vote gets more than 50% of votes, whichever challenger comes in first on the replacement list is immediately hired as the state's new governor. The challenger doesn't need to get more than 50% of the vote, they just need to come in first from the list of replacements.

This was the case during California's 2003 recall election, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger won 49% of the vote.

Governor Gavin Newsom made a passing reference to the recall campaign during his State of the State speech on Tuesday, but he did so in the most explicit terms yet, referring to organizers as "promoting partisan political power grabs with outdated prejudices."

Newsom’s remarks were adopted as anti-recall talking points by politicians from the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in a Wednesday news conference, where they painted the recall as driven by adherents of former President Donald Trump and conspiracy theorists.

“Let’s call this recall what it is: a partisan political power grab,” said Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco.

The GOP has only 24% of registered California voters, but organizers say they are attracting Democrats and independents.

"There are a lot of Democrats who are frustrated," Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon conceded after Newsom’s speech. But Rendon, a Democrat who sometimes is at odds with Newsom, said the governor deserves credit, not condemnation, for a smart and measured response to the pandemic.

Critics say Newsom has been too restrictive during the health crisis, shuttering businesses and limiting people’s activities far longer than necessary. They also say he has not followed his own directives, notably when he attended a lobbyist’s birthday party at the fancy French Laundry restaurant last fall as he was telling Californians to stay home.

Newsom acknowledged “mistakes” Tuesday but left out specifics, saying only that “we own them, we learn from them, and we never stop trying.”

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.

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Jesus Reyes

The Associated Press

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