Newsom recall meets signature requirement; signees can remove names until June 8

The California Secretary of State announced that 1,626,042 signatures were valid in the recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Voters have until June 8 to request the removal of their signature from the petition. The request must be sent in writing to a county election official. If enough valid signatures remain following the June 8 deadline, the recall campaign will enter a budgeting and scheduling phase.

Supporters needed to collect at least 1,495,709 valid signatures to trigger a recall election. They turned in more than 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 deadline. More than 80% of the signatures processed by the secretary of state were deemed valid. This validity rate is higher than the average for propositions in California from 2018-2022 (76.5%).

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, no majority required. In the 2003 recall of Davis, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.58 percent of the vote.

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.

Several individuals have announced campaigns as candidates if the recall goes to the ballot. Among those are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R), and Caitlyn Jenner (R).