Californians hoping to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom submitted more than enough valid signatures on petitions to hold a recall election.
Supporters of the recall say they have submitted 2.1 million raw signatures by the Wednesday deadline, pushing them over the 1.5 million valid signatures needed to ensure a recall vote, according to Politico.
A report released Friday by state election officials shows almost 1.2 million voter signatures validated as of last week and an additional 380,000 signatures have not yet been reviewed.
The unreviewed block of signatures is likely to yield the number of signatures needed for the recall vote as the petition currently has an 82 percent validity rate.
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Election officials can review signatures through April 29, but the validity rate could lead petition organizers to reach the signature threshold by early April, the Los Angles Times reported.
Newsom seemed to accept that a recall vote was imminent on Tuesday.
“The reality is, looks like it’s going on the ballot,” he told reporters.
If supporters have enough signatures, voters will likely be able to vote on the recall in the fall and will be asked if Newsom should remain in office and, if not, who should be his replacement, Politico reported.
“Governor Newsom has finally realized that, you know, this is a viable threat to his political future,” Republican activist Orrin Heatlie said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The recall petition was introduced in February 2020, a little over a year after Newsom first took office in January 2019, but quickly gained speed during the coronavirus pandemic, according to KABC-TV.
The petitioner’s grievances range from high taxes and homelessness rates to the Democratic governor’s failure to reopen businesses after the state beat the coronavirus curve in the spring of 2020.
Newsom and his allies have been critical of the recall effort, and have said that racism is the root of the dissatisfaction.
“Who’s behind the partisan recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom? Anti-vaccine QAnon extremists, violent white supremacists — like the Proud Boys who attacked our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6 — and the same right-wing Republican politicians who supported [former President] Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the election,” an ad attacking the recall effort, generated from the “Stop the Republican Recall” group, said.
“Instead of helping fight the pandemic, national Republicans are coming to fight Californians.”
Randy Economy, a spokesperson for the RecallGavin2020 campaign, said Newsom is showing signs of desperation, according to Fox News.
“Gavin Newsom is resorting to political desperation. He now, finally, has accepted the fact that there will be a recall election being held this year to decide the direction of California and his political fate,” he told Fox News.
“For him to continue to label the people’s campaign as extremist is sad, pathetic and just goes to show how out of touch he really is.”