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California recall has enough signatures to make ballot

The verification process is not yet complete as counties have until April 29 to verify the remaining signatures, but so far, 1.5 million have been collected.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Organizers of the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

According to the Secretary of State's office, there are a total of 1,626,042 verified signatures as of Monday, April 26. The recall effort needed 1,495,709 verified signatures to move into a recall election.

The verification process is not yet complete as counties have until Thursday, April 29, to verify the remaining signatures.

"This now triggers the next phase of the recall process, a 30-business-day period in which voters may submit written requests to county Registrars of Voters to remove their names from the recall petition,” Secretary Weber said in a press release. “A recall election will be held unless a sufficient number of signatures are withdrawn."

If the recall effort still has enough signatures by the end of the withdrawal period, the recall election will move into the next phase of the process.

There is still a ways to go before the election gets on the ballot. There will be a months-long review to determine if and when the election happens and it could take until September to set a date.

When the election happens, voters will be asked two questions on the ballot:

  1. Whether Newsom should be removed from office.
  2. A list of replacement candidates to choose from if more than 50% of voters support removing Newsom from office.

The recall effort has mainly been fueled by criticism of how Newsom has been handling the pandemic.

"He needs to be out. I signed a petition because he is a hypocrite. He is a tyrant, and he has destroyed our economy," Sacramento resident and petition signer Ashley Amavisca said.

Some of the people putting their names in the running for governor amid the recall election include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose, John Cox (who lost to Newsom in the 2018 governor's race), celebrity Caitlyn Jenner and former porn star Mary Carey.

According to the Public Policy institute of California, there's a deep partisan divide, where Democrats hold an advantage to keep Newsom in office.
Among Registered Democrats, 73% approve of Newsom's handling of his job while 78% of Republicans disapprove. 

Still, a poll conducted by PPIC indicates 40% of likely voters would vote yes to remove Newsom if an election were to be held now.

Political analyst Steve Swatt expects the crowded field of candidates to expand further, and Newsom has much to prove to voters.

"California is a blue state. Polls are pretty favorable for Governor Newsome right now, but six months is forever in politics, and a lot can happen. A lot can change between now and then. It will depend on the state of mind of the voters. Will we be in a drought? What about fire season? What if schools close again? Will voters be upset?" he said.

In 2003, voters recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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