On Friday, the campaign to recall Governor Gavin Newsom closed in on 1.9 million signatures, coming closer to meeting the 2 million signature goal.
While state law only requires 1.495 million valid signatures, campaigners have pushed for the 2 million signature goal to allow for up to 25% of signatures to be invalid and still reach the ballot. While the California Secretary of State’s office has revealed that 84% of all signatures processed so far have been valid, the California Patriot Coalition/Recall Gavin Newsom 2020, the campaigners behind the petition, don’t want to leave anything to chance.
As of Thursday, the campaign has recorded 1.825 million signatures so far, a jump of well over 100,000 signatures in only a week. While the figure had slowed down from the previous weeks total of close to 200,000 signatures, it is still well on pace to reach 2 million signatures by the March 10th deadline. The campaign actually has an extra week, as the 10th is a self-imposed deadline from the state signature deadline of March 17th, ensuring more reserve time for signature collection if needed.
“It’s not about if it will go through, but when it will go through, and it will go through,” noted Senior Advisor and Official Spokesman of the California Patriot Coalition – Recall Gavin Newsom 2020 Committee Randy Economy on Thursday. “The heavy lifting is continuing and we think there will be a special election later this year.”
Since November, Governor Newsom has embroiled himself in a series of actions that have alienated him from many Californians. A botched vaccine rollout, his controversial school reopening plan, the ongoing $31 billion EDD fraud case, and fallout from lockdowns and tsunami of small business closures due to his ordered lockdowns has kept voter resentment high.
His personal lapses, particularly with regard to COVID-19 regulations, have brought grief to the Governor. Most notably, he was found to have lied about attending a non-social distanced and non-mask party at an elite restaurant in November, despite him chastising Californians only days before for not following state guidelines.
While Newsom has largely played off recall concerns and said he was more focused on state matters, evidence has been building that the recall is a much more serious threat to him than he is letting on. A recent UC Berkeley survey found that only 45% of voters approve of Newsom, a sharp drop from September where 64% of voters approved of him. In the same survey, over a third of all voters also noted that they would vote for his removal from office, almost doubling the amount in favor in only a few short months.
A likely recall election in 2021
Many high ranking lawmakers, including President Joe Biden, have come to his defense in recent days as the recall effort against him grows, with recent actions, such as traveling around the state for over two weeks, being chalked up by opponents as a goodwill tour. His signing of a bill earlier this week that extends the law making it mandatory for counties to send out by-mail ballots to all registered voters through the end of 2021 has also been cited by many as Newsom attempting to stave off the recall.
“It’s pretty pathetic if you sit and look about how he’s tried to get out of the situation that he’s created by doing these mega events,” added Economy on Thursday in a statement. “Everything Gavin Newsom does is under a microscope times a thousand, and that’s the way it should be. We’re gonna let the Secretary of State do her job, and we’re going to let the process continue. But we are going to stay on top of them every step of the way to make sure nothing goes awry, to make sure the checks and balances and accountability is taking place.”
All collected signatures are due to the Secretary of State by March 17th. All signatures are to be counted by April 30th. Should enough be validated, a recall election could be on the ballot as soon as early summer.
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