OAKLAND, Calif .– The recall campaign by California Governor Gavin Newsom had nearly 670,000 validated signatures with one month remaining to reach around 1.5 million, according to an official update on Friday, but the total number of valid signatures submitted is probably higher.
It promises to be tight for the race to qualify just the second governor recall in California history. Longtime voting experts say the campaign continues to have an impressive validation rate from submitted signatures, but that could still go down the thread depending on Friday’s data release.
An update from the Secretary of State’s office shows 668,202 signatures valid to date, which equates to a relatively high validity rate of 84% of the 798,310 signatures reviewed by local election offices to date. from February.
Officials still had not processed about 300,000 additional ballots, which, at the reported validity rate, would bring organizers to about 900,000 signatures in total, or about 60 percent of the total needed.
Anne Dunsmore, who manages one of the two groups leading the recall, said the report lags behind the campaign’s actual signature collection rate. Dunsmore said the promoters submitted around 1.2 million signatures and collected around 1.7 million in total.
“We’re doing great,” Dunsmore said. “We are on the right path.”
But campaign consultant Brandon Castillo, who is not affiliated with the recall, predicted the outcome could be tight. He said it will depend on how many signatures the campaign has accumulated beyond the 1.09 million registrars have officially received, assuming their submission rate the following month roughly matches the gross total of the campaign from early January to early February.
“I think it’s very close. I think it’s seriously possible that they will qualify. But only if they have those extra 400,000 to 500,000 signings on hand,” Castillo said.
The last official update, in January, showed that the promoters had submitted around 410,000 valid signatures and had probably collected around 610,000 valid signatures in total.
A growing consensus that the recall may well take place before voters garnered national attention and money, with the Republican National Committee funneling $ 250,000 to bring the signature-collecting effort across the finish line. Republican candidates line up, and Democrats unite behind Newsom.
The halting of the mass vaccination effort and continued school closures fueled criticism of Newsom’s leadership.
The next official status report is scheduled for March 18 – the day after the deadline for promoters to submit signatures. County election officials will then have to submit the results to the Secretary of State’s office, who will announce whether the recall has made the vote.
If that happens, an election will likely take place in the fall. Voters would decide on two questions: whether to keep Newsom in power and who should replace him if the recall passes.