The California Secretary of State’s office released a final recall petition report on Wednesday, showing that a total of 1,719,943 valid signatures were verified out of 2,161,349 signatures submitted two months ago – just under an 80% validation rate.
According to the final report, Los Angeles County contributed the most verified signatures with 264,495. LA was followed by Orange County with 215,714 signatures, San Diego County with 179,039 signatures, Riverside County with 146,803 signatures, and San Bernardino County with 106,475 signatures.
While high totals were reported elsewhere around the state, including the Central Valley and the Sacramento Valley, the Democratic-dominated Bay Area had low final signature totals, especially compared to the total population of the counties in question. Governor Gavin Newsom’s home county, Marin, garnered only 6,288 signatures despite a total county population of 257,154. Southern San Mateo County fared only a little better, bringing in a total of 15,092 verified signatures compared with a population of 767,423.
However, despite the wide signature disparity between counties, the recall campaign received enough enough signatures to trigger a recall election, formally qualifying late last month after reaching the needed threshold of 1.495 million verified signatures.
Leaders of the California Patriot Coalition – Recall Gavin Newsom and RecallGavin2020, the main forces behind the recall campaign celebrated the release of the final signature report on Wednesday, noting that it is a victory for both the people of California and for grassroots organizations across the country.
“Democracy reigns in California. Today, We the People of California celebrate the millions of people who took the recall campaign of California Governor Gavin Newsom into their own hands,” said California Patriot Coalition – Recall Gavin Newsom Chairman Orrin Heatlie in a statement on Wednesday. “Our campaign is ratcheting up for a new phase of our campaign and this grassroots movement. We are fueled by the People, and now we are urging everyone across America who believes in grassroots Democracy to make a small donation to help fuel this historic campaign.”
Randy Economy, Senior Advisor and Official Media Spokesman for the campaign, had similar remarks.
“Remember, is a Citizen Democracy, the final judge and jury are the People of California, not the political elite, not political party bosses and other outsiders,” Economy said. “The People oversee California.”
Despite the recall election already qualifying, the final report was anticipated by many both for and opposed to the recall in California as it shows where recall supporters, Governor Newsom, and the numerous recall candidates alike will need to concentrate geographically during the election later this year.
“This final signature report is a very useful tool for both Newsom’s campaign and the others,” former lobbyist Harry Schultz, who helped lobby during the 2003 Gray Davis recall, explained to the Globe Thursday. “It shows where recall supporters are concentrated by county. Even if you argue that it’s skewed due to recall campaign volunteers working in certain counties, that tells you where the movement is strongest at and where the battleground counties will be. Newsom, as well as Faulconer, Cox, Jenner, and everyone else running will definitely be visiting Southern California a lot in the coming months. As things reopen and large events start coming back, like these scaled-down county fairs and political rallies, it’s going to start perking up quite a bit. This won’t be like 2003, but the nation will be watching this recall again nonetheless.”
“And this time, the key is Southern California.”
The 2021 recall election is expected to take place later this year, likely in October or November.