California Recall

Gavin Newsom needed 224,234 Californians to change their mind on the recall. He got 36.

It appears that only 36 California voters who signed the petition to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a partial reporting of county data shows.

Susan Walsh, a senior volunteer with the RecallGavin2020.com campaign contacted every county election office in the state following the June 8 deadline, and asked how many recall petition signers removed their names.

“I was worried at first that the numbers would be in the thousands,” Walsh said. However, early on in her calls, Walsh noticed the exceedingly low number of rescinded signatures.

To qualify this recall for the ballot, 1,495,709 signatures were required. The recall petition gatherers turned in 2,161,349 signatures. Of those, 1,719,943 were validated by the Secretary of State. This left a cushion of 224,234 extra signatures.

A Democratic group aligned with Gov. Gavin Newsom led by former State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D–Oakland) dubbed “Stop the Steal,” borrowing a GOP-used phrase, was formed to peel off signatures and bring the recall petition below the 1.495 million signature threshold.

The effort clearly failed.

A tweak in recall laws helps Newsom run out the clock

During the recall of California State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) in 2017 and 2018, the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting, passed a law extending the amount of time between the qualification of a recall petition and the actual election, hoping to save Newman.

But they were sued by taxpayer advocate groups and lost.

“The recall was meant to be a quick remedy,” President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Jon Coupal said at the time. “This is directly contrary to the intent.”

However, that law is on the books now and applies to the current recall election of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. This law has added additional recall procedures and lengthened the time before the actual election will take place after qualifying for the ballot.

California just crossed one of those hurdles: the 30 day period just ended in which the California Secretary of State has to contact petition signers and ask if they understood what they signed and if they want to remove their name from the petition.

Strangely, several counties refused to provide the numbers. Alameda County, San Bernardino, Merced, Stanislaus, San Diego and Los Angeles Counties did not provide the numbers of rescinded signatures.

Merced and Stanislaus counties claimed that they have until June 22 to turn the report in, despite Walsh telling them that June 8th was the deadline.

Only a few counties said they’d need to get back to Walsh.

Most counties reported zero rescinded signatures:

  • Fresno County was the highest with 10 signature removals.
  • Ventura County had 5 signatures rescinded.
  • San Francisco had 4 signatures rescinded.
  • Sonoma County had 3 signatures rescinded.
  • Placer County, Sacramento County, San Joaquin, and San Luis Obispo had 2.
  • Orange, Santa Clara, Solano and Tulare Counties had 1 signature rescinded.

The remaining counties reported no signatures rescinded or removed.

Here is the tally:

Alpine0
Amador0
Butte0
Calavares0
Colusa0
Contra Costa0
Del Norte0
El Dorado0
Fresno10
Glen0
Humbolt0
ImperielDNR 
Inyo0
Kern0
Kings0
Lake0
Lassen0
Los AngelesDNR
Madera0
Marin0
Mariposa DNR
Mendocino0
MercedDNR
Modoc0
Mono0
Monterey0
Napa0
Nevada0
Orange1
Placer2
Plumas0
RiversideDNR
Sacramento2
San Benito0
San BernadinoDNR
San DiegoDNR
San Francisco4
San Joaquin2
San Luis Obispo2
San MateoDNR 
Santa BarbaraDNR 
Santa Clara1
Santa Cruz0
Shasta0
Sierra0
Siskou0
Solano1
Sonoma3
StanislausDNR 
Sutter0
Tehama0
TrinityDNR
Tulare1
Tuolume0
Ventura5
Yolo0
Yuba0

Notably, Newman authored SB 663 in February to allow a voter who has signed an initiative, referendum, or recall petition to remove their name from the petition 45 days after the petition is filed.

Thursday, the California Department of Finance tendered an estimated cost of the recall, tabbing county-level costs at $215 million. Costs from the Secretary of State had yet to be tabulated.

The Legislative Budget Committee then has 30 days to review and comment on the cost estimate.

Then, the Secretary of State certifies the recall petitions to the Governor and Lt. Governor.

The Lt. Governor then is required to call a recall election between 60 and 80 days after certification of the signatures.

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The San Joaquin Valley Sun
Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.