The California gubernatorial recall election against Gavin Newsom will happen after less than 50 people requested to remove their signatures from the recall effort.
Only 43 of the more than 1.7 million Californians who signed a petition to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom withdrew their signatures over the last several weeks, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
The remaining count still meets the threshold to initiate a recall election, which will almost certainly be held sometime this year.
Recall proponents had already turned in a sufficient number of verified recall signatures in April. However, following California election law, voters were given 30 days from April 26 to June 8 to request county officials remove their signatures from recall petitions.
The final report from the Secretary of State’s office validated 1,719,943 signatures on the recall petition. The recall effort needed 1,495,709 verified signatures to trigger a recall election. Approximately 441,406 signatures were invalidated.
State election law dictates that voters be given 30 days – from April 26 to June 8 – to request county officials remove their signatures from the recall petition.
With the removed signatures, the actual final tally now stands at 1,719,900 – more than enough to trigger the recall election.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber sent a letter to the State Department of Finance (DOF) reporting the withdrawn signatures. The Finance Department will now estimate the cost of the recall if it’s held in a special election and the cost if it’s held during the next regularly scheduled election in November 2021. A recent estimate by the DOF showed the recall could cost roughly $215 million.
An official date for the recall election remains uncertain. Several mechanisms remain in place to certify the recall before its put to the voters, with possible dates as early as September 2021.
Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber on Wednesday notified the Department of Finance that the petition still had the requisite number of signatures to trigger an election.
Now, the Department of Finance has 30 days to estimate the costs of the gubernatorial recall. The department is asked to come up with two figures: the cost of a recall if it were held as a special election and the cost as if it were held as part of the next regularly scheduled election.
The costs must go to the governor, the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and chair of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee by Aug. 5. At that point, the legislative committee will have 30 days to review and comment, after which, the Secretary of State will then certify the sufficiency of signatures, and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis will schedule the election.
The next steps could take as long as 60 days, but will likely go much faster.
The Department of Finance has already come up with a $215 million price tag for county election officials to hold a recall, which the Legislature agreed to cover. After agreeing to include the $215 million in the budget bill, Senate President Pro Tem Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, said there’s no need for the Joint Legislative Budget Committee to conduct its 30-day review.
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