What You Should Know About The Recall Election Process


So how does withdrawal work? What’s coming? Here’s what you need to know:

How many signatures does the withdrawal require?

For the recall to move forward, proponents must submit a total of 1,495,709 valid signatures to county election officials. before March 17, the term established by the court, which was extended due to the pandemic. The number of signatures required is 12 percent of the votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election, when Newsom defeated Republican businessman John Cox in 2018.

And yes, like the Secretary of State’s office recently emphasized In response to incorrect information that had been circulating online, the signatures of any official petition must be verified and found to be valid.

In this case, election officials should match the signature on the petition to the voter’s signature on their registration record; signatures must come from a registered voter.

Counties have until April 29 to verify signatures. After that, the Secretary of State’s office has 10 days to determine if there are enough valid signatures to qualify the impeachment election. (Another note: Voters who have signed the revocation petition may withdraw their signatures within 30 business days of that determination, and county elections officials have 10 days after that period to notify the Secretary of State’s office. on how many people have retired).

How many signatures has this recall actually obtained?

According to the most recent report from the state, as of February 5, supporters of the effort to remove Mr. Newsom had submitted approximately 1.1 million signatures in total, including 798,310 signatures that have been verified by county officials.

Of those, about 84 percent, or 668,202, were valid, meaning they belonged to a registered voter in California.

Is the impeachment election likely to occur?

That 84 percent figure is an unusually high rate of valid signatures, compared to, say, a typical petition to put an initiative on the ballot. Observers say it is an encouraging sign for supporters of the withdrawal.

Also, experts have told me that polls suggest that there are many voters, including some six million who voted for former President Donald J. Trump, who will likely support a recall.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the initial launch of the vaccine could contribute to those numbers. Finally, as the school year nears its typical close with most students learning remotely, the governor is coming under fire from both Republicans and members of his own party for failing to reach broad agreement on how take the children back to classrooms.

Still, experts have said things could change significantly before voters are asked to decide whether to end their governor’s term early.

What happens if a recall campaign gets enough signatures?

The state Department of Finance will work with the Secretary of State’s office and county elections officials to calculate how much a recall election will cost. Once that happens, the estimate is sent to top state officials and then the Joint Legislative Budget Committee has 30 days to review and comment on the costs before the signatures are officially certified.

After that, the lieutenant governor, not the Secretary of State’s office, must schedule an election between 60 and 80 days from the certification date. That could be extended to 180 days if it allowed the recall election to consolidate with a regularly scheduled election.

Analysts they have suggested that a recall election could take place in November.

Voters would be asked two questions: Should Mr. Newsom be removed from office? And if the majority of voters say yes, who should replace him? (In 2003, the winner from a crowded field of candidates was Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

Is this unusual?

Something like. California is one of 19 states, plus the District of Columbia, that allow the recall of state officials. And while recall efforts have been launched for every California governor since 1960, only one has led to an election.

Read more:

  • Here it is a detailed explainer on how to call a governor in California. [CalMatters]

  • Here’s everything else you might want to know on who is behind the effort to remember Mr. Newsom and the story of the governor’s reinstatements. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • What do the polls say? Here’s a recent look. [The New York Times]

  • The state responded to many questions about the withdrawal process – in 2003. (Take the estimated costs with a grain of salt.) [California Secretary of State]

  • Could Democrats delay withdrawal? Here’s a look at possible ways to extend the timeline, although some say that could give backers more time. [The Sacramento Bee]

  • The governor recently passed a law that would expand a requirement that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to each eligible voter to each election “proclaimed or held” before the start of 2022. [California Legislature]


Tell us what you want to know: We know that California’s school reopening process has been slow, fragmented, uneven, and confusing. There are many things in the works and we want to help you solve them. If you are a parent or educator (or both), please email us your questions at [email protected] We will answer some of them.

Read all of The Times school reopening coverage here.


  • Governor Gavin Newsom said the state was reorganizing its vaccination efforts. and that more doses would go to the Central Valley, that has been hit by the pandemic. [The Bakersfield Californian]

  • It started with a hot mic moment, during which there were jokes about parents wanting their kids to go back to school so they can smoke marijuana. Then the entire Oakley Union Elementary School District board resigned. [The New York Times]

  • In his latest reform move, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, you are seeking information on officers with a history of misconduct that could affect your credibility in court. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Following the passage from Proposition 22, corporations hope to leverage their advantage and use the model to convert millions more jobs into contract jobs. [Bloomberg]

Read more about the fight for Proposition 22. [The New York Times]

  • “If the studios wanted to end the Golden Globes, they could do it overnight,” said a source. “But everyone likes to receive an award.” The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is under fire, again – for ethical and selfish carelessness. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • California Almond Blossom, World’s Largest Single Pollination Event, has started. [The San Luis Obispo Tribune]


California Today begins operating at 6:30 am Pacific Time, weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: [email protected]. Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up for California Today here Y read each issue online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has worked across the state including the Bay Area, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles, but she always wants to see more. Follow here or in Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.



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