On Friday evening – the witch’s hour for bad news – California Secretary of State Shirley Weber reported that 1,094,457 signatures had been received to call Governor Gavin Newsom back. Of those signatures, 668,202 have been verified by local election officials, a process that must take place before they can be counted. About 140,000 additional signatures were found to be invalid.
More than 296,000 signatures have yet to be approved or rejected by electoral officials in the counties to which each signature corresponds. The recall requires a total of around 1.5 million valid signatures to trigger a special election, which is expected to take place in November.
Recall organizers have indicated that they want to get 2 million signatures in to ensure there are enough valid entries to guarantee success.
The organizers must hand in all signatures by March 17th. Election officials will then have until April 29 to review them.
Friday’s announcement covers the signatures submitted by February 5th. Proponents of the recall claim to have collected 1.7 million signatures to date. They say 1.2 million electoral officials have been presented so far.
Proponents filed 370,000 signatures between January 7th and February 5th, according to the Sacramento Bee. If they actually collected 1.7 million signatures and can collect signatures on the same clip in the next month, the organizers would hit their goal of 2 million signatures.
For its part, Newsom has stormed the state and opened mass vaccination sites in the past two weeks, and has appeared with local officials extolling its leadership.