On March 19, the California Secretary of State’s office released an update on signature verification in the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). According to the official report, 1.834 million signatures were turned in through March 11. Of those, 1.188 million were deemed valid. Another 380,060 signatures remain unprocessed. At least 1,495,709 signatures must be deemed valid to trigger a recall election.
According to media reports, recall organizers said they turned in more than 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 deadline. At the current verification rate of about 82%, that would amount to 1.722 million valid signatures, which would be enough to trigger the recall election.
Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.
A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election without needing a majority of votes cast. In the 2003 recall, 135 candidates ran and Schwarzenegger received 48.58 percent of the vote.