Local election offices have verified and submitted thousands of signatures from local residents in favor of recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom, as Thursday was the deadline to submit the information to the state.
Opponents of the governor have been collecting signatures since June 2020 in an effort to gain enough support for a recall election to be held.
According to information obtained from the Secretary of State’s office, the minimum number of valid signatures required to qualify the recall was 1,495,709, or 12 percent of the total number of votes cast in the last election for governor.
“Valid signatures must be obtained from at least five counties and in each of those counties must equal at least one percent of the last vote for governor,” it was stated in the document.
In Yuba County, Clerk-Recorder Terry Hansen said there were over 5,000 signatures verified and submitted for the recall.
While some signatures could not be counted due to conflicting address information, signature inconsistencies and a failure of the signatory to be previously registered to vote, Hansen said more than 80 percent of the signatures collected were verified and submitted to the state.
More than 6,500 signatures were verified in Sutter County, according to the most recent reporting period that was completed in March, and more than 1,500 signatures were verified in Colusa County.
According to Hansen, the next step of the recall process is a 30-day period (business days) in which voters may request the removal of their name from the recall petition.
Should that happen, county officials must report any withdrawn signatures to the Secretary of State within 10 business days of the end of the signature withdrawal period, according to the department, and then the state must then determine if the petition still has the required number of valid signatures to initiate a recall election.
“If it is determined that there is not the requisite number of valid signatures, the recall effort would fail,” it was stated on the Secretary of State’s website. “However, if it is determined that there is still the requisite number of valid signatures to initiate a recall election, the Secretary of State must promptly notify the Department of Finance of the results.”
The Department of Finance must then consult with county election officials and the Secretary of State to estimate the costs associated with holding the recall election and submit the estimate to the chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC), the governor and the Secretary of State within 30 business days of the notification.
The JLBC then has 30 business days to review and comment on the estimate before the Secretary of State will certify that the proponents have submitted enough valid signatures to qualify the recall for the ballot.
“The Lieutenant Governor is then required to call a recall election to be held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days from the date of certification of sufficient signatures,” it was stated on the Secretary of State’s website.
According to Hansen, it is just a waiting game for local officials at this time, as the state works through the process to determine the next steps.
“We are just waiting on direction from the state,” said Hansen.
In the meantime, Hansen said the Yuba County Elections Office has been reaching out to local polling places and volunteers to ensure they have facilities and staffing should a recall election occur.