Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan announced on Monday that the recall petition of LA District Attorney George Gascon failed to reach the needed number of signatures, only garnering 520,050 of the needed 566,867 needed to be on the November 2022 ballot.
In July, LA Mayoral candidate and current Rep. Karen Bass said “My focus is going to be on the mayor’s race…I’m not going to be focused on the recall,” LAMag.com reported, and said she “then went on to characterize the chances the recall will qualify for the ballot as ‘doubtful.’”
When the second recall attempt against Gascon kicked off in January following the failed 2021 attempt, the number of signatures quickly grew. By June, so many had been collected that the safety goal was being reached and criminals in the County were so worried of it succeeding that many began asking for more plea deals ahead of such a recall being on the ballot. Around 716,000 were turned in by the early July deadline, with number of signatures widely being seen as enough, as previous petitions, such as the Gavin Newsom recall campaign in 2021, had only a 20% rejection rate.
“I wouldn’t say it’s in the bag or we’ll be complacent, but as far as public opinion is concerned, George Gascon is toast,” said Recall DA George Gascon Tim Lineberger spokesman last month.
However, on Monday, 195,783 signatures of the 715,833 turned in were invalidated, causing the recall petition to not advance.
“Based on the examination and verification, which conducted in compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the California Government Code, Elections Code, and Code of Regulations, 520,050 signatures were found to be valid and 195,783 were found to be invalid,” said Logan on Monday. “Therefore, the petition has failed to meet the sufficiency requirements and no further action shall be taken on the petition.”
Of the nearly 200,000 invalidated signatures, 88,000 were not registered, 43,593 were duplicates, 32,187 were a different address, 9,490 were mismatched signatures, 7,344 were canceled, 5,374 were out of county addresses, with 9,300 being uncounted under the ‘other’ category.
Those against the recall attempt celebrated on Monday, with a Gascon campaign spokesperson saying “We are obviously glad to move forward from this attempted political power grab, but we also understand that there is far more work that needs to be done. And we remain strongly committed to that work. The DA’s primary focus is and has always been keeping us safe and creating a more equitable justice system for all. Today’s announcement does not change that.”
Gascon himself also gave a brief tweet, echoing similar sentiments.
“Grateful to move forward from this attempted political power grab-rest assured LA County, the work hasn’t stopped,” tweeted Gascon. “My primary focus has been & will always be keeping us safe & creating a more equitable justice system for all. I remain strongly committed to that work & to you.”
Grateful to move forward from this attempted political power grab-rest assured LA County, the work hasn’t stopped.
My primary focus has been & will always be keeping us safe & creating a more equitable justice system for all.
I remain strongly committed to that work & to you.
— George Gascón (@GeorgeGascon) August 15, 2022
Over 27% of all signatures invalidated
Proponents of the recall, who have charged Gascon with causing worsening crime throughout the County due to being lax on crime, spoke out against the results of the registrar on Monday, noting that the final figures wildly varied against validation projections and the recall petition ultimately succeeding,
“Things aren’t really adding up here,” explained former lobbyist Harry Schultz in a Globe interview on Monday. “Previous recall petitions had only around 20% invalidations. In LA, it was over 27%. Something is wrong there. Signature gatherers always ask if they live in the county, are registered, if they have lived at that address for a certain period of time, and so on. 27%, that’s almost at the level where you have to be trying to find people who aren’t registered yet have them sign anyway. It’s like a 30-game losing streak in pro sports. You’d have to be trying at that point to lose.”
“If this was my recall team, I’d definitely look into it. Something is off.”
Recall DA George Gascon confirmed on Thursday that they would be reviewing the signatures to check for disenfranchisement.
“While the initial results are surprising and disappointing, the Recall Committee intends to exercise its full statutory and legal authority to review the rejected signatures and verification process that took place and will ultimately seek to ensure no voter was disenfranchised,” the Recall DA George Gascon campaign said Monday. “Nonetheless, according to the Registrar-Recorder, over half a million residents placed valid signatures on a petition to initiate the recall of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon. To deprive them of the opportunity to restore public safety in their own communities is heartbreaking. And to interpret this in any other way other than a wholesale rejection of Gascon’s dangerous polices would be disingenuous, or naive at best. The over half a million signatures are in addition to 37 cities voting no confidence in the District Attorney, and over 98% of Gascon’s own prosecutors supporting the recall. The removal of George Gascon from office has never been a matter of if, but when. The citizens of Los Angeles cannot afford another two years of Gascon unleashing havoc on their streets – people’s lives are at stake.”
Those who backed the recall have three weeks to go over the Registrar’s report as well as use their findings for a possible lawsuit or other action.
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