Here’s an update on the recall effort targeting California Gov. Gavin Newsom

One week remains for any voters who signed a recall petition targeting California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to request to have their signatures removed.

The secretary of state’s office reported on May 5 it had verified 1,719,943 valid signatures recall organizers had submitted. According to state law, voters who signed a recall petition are permitted to remove their names within 30 days—by June 8—after they file a written request that includes their name, address, and signature with county elections officials.

If after that period, at least 1,495,709 signatures remain, the recall election will be certified and proceed to a budgeting and scheduling phase. Based on the remaining procedural steps required by law, political analysts in the state expect the recall election to take place in October or November 2021. Orrin Heatlie began this recall campaign on June 10, 2020. It is the fifth of six recall petitions filed against Newsom since 2019. The other five recall campaigns were inactive as of Feb. 3, 2021.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from office. 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 with no majority required. In the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis (D), 135 candidates ran, and the winner—Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)—received 48.58% of the vote.

So far, 37 candidates have officially filed with the secretary of state to run in a recall election. Among those are eight Democrats, 17 Republicans, two Green Party candidates, and a Libertarian Party candidate. The remaining candidates filed with no party preference. Ballotpedia has tracked an additional 13 candidates who have declared their intent to run in the recall election but have not yet officially filed. Among those are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R), former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose (R), and Caitlyn Jenner (R).

On May 25, the Public Policy Institute of California published a poll finding that 57% of respondents opposed a recall, 40% supported a recall, and 3% were undecided. These numbers were about the same as a March poll by the same group, which found 56% opposed, 40% supported, and 5% undecided. Both polls surveyed 1,700 California residents and had a margin of error of around 3%.

Newsom was elected governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall an incumbent California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Davis and elected Schwarzenegger.

Thirty-nine states allow for the recall of all or certain elected public officials.

Image Sources

  • Recall Gavin Newsom: Shutterstock