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What to know about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall efforts

So how does the recall work? What awaits you Here’s what you need to know:

How many signatures does the recall require?

For the recall to progress, promoters must submit a total of 1,495,709 valid signatures to county election officials. before March 17th, the deadline set by the court, which has been extended due to the pandemic. The number of signatures required is 12% of the votes cast in the last governor’s election, when Mr Newsom defeated Republican businessman John Cox in 2018.

And yes – as the office of the secretary of state recently highlighted in response to incorrect information circulating online – signatures of any official petition must be verified and held valid.

In this case, election officials must compare the signature of the petition to the signature of the voter in their registration file; signatures must come from a registered voter.

The counties have until April 29 to verify signatures. After that, the Secretary of State’s office has 10 days to determine if there are enough valid signatures to qualify the recall election. (Another note: Voters who signed the recall petition can withdraw their signatures within 30 business days of this decision, and county election officials have 10 days after that period to notify the Secretary of State’s office of the number. people who have withdrawn.)

How many signatures did this recall actually get?

According to the latest state report, as of February 5, supporters of Mr Newsom’s recall effort had submitted around 1.1 million signatures in total, including 798,310 signatures that were verified by county officials. .

Of those, about 84%, or 668,202, were valid, meaning they belonged to a registered California voter.

Is the recall election likely to take place?

That 84% figure is an unusually high rate of valid signatures, compared to, say, a typical petition to put an initiative on the ballot. Observers say this is an encouraging sign for supporters of the recall.

Additionally, experts have told me that polls suggest there are plenty of voters, including around six million who voted for former President Donald J. Trump, who are likely to support a recall.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the initial vaccine rollout could be contributing to these numbers. Finally, as the school year nears its usual end, with most students learning from a distance, the governor comes under fire from Republicans and members of his own party for failing to reach a broad agreement on how to bring children back to classrooms.

Still, experts said things could change dramatically before voters are asked to decide whether to end their governor’s term prematurely.

What happens if a recall campaign gets enough signatures?

The state’s finance department will work with the secretary of state’s office and county election officials to estimate the cost of a recall election. Once that happens, the estimate is sent to senior state officials, and then the Joint Legislative Budget Committee has 30 days to review and comment on the costs before the signatures are officially certified.

After that, the lieutenant governor – not the secretary of state’s office – is required to schedule an election between 60 and 80 days from the date of accreditation. This could be extended to 180 days if it consolidated the recall election with a regular election.

Analysts suggested that a recall election could take place in November.

Voters would be asked two questions: Should Mr. Newsom be called back? And if a majority of voters say yes, who should replace him? (In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the winner of a crowded field of candidates.)

Is this unusual?

Kind of. California is one of 19 states, plus the District of Columbia, that allows public servants to be recalled. And while recall efforts have been launched for every California governor since 1960, only one has led to an election.

Read more:

  • Here is a detailed explanation on how to recall a governor in California. [CalMatters]

  • Here’s everything you might want to know on who is behind the effort to recall Mr. Newsom and the story of the governor remembers. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • What do the polls say? Here is a recent overview. [The New York Times]

  • The state has responded to many questions about the recall process – in 2003. (Take the estimated costs with a grain of salt.) [California Secretary of State]

  • Could Democrats delay recall? Here’s a look at possible ways to extend the timeline – although some say it could give the recall supporters more time. [The Sacramento Bee]

  • The governor recently approved a law that would extend a requirement that a postal ballot be sent to each eligible voter in every election “declared or conducted” before the start of 2022. [California Legislature]

Tell us what you want to know: We know that the process of reopening schools in California has been interrupted, fragmented, uneven and confusing. There is a lot of flow, and we want to help you sort it out. If you are a parent or educator (or both), please email your questions to us at We will respond to some of them.

Read all articles from The Times cover of the school reopening here.

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is revamping its vaccination efforts and that more doses would go to the central valley, which has been criticized by the pandemic. [The Bakersfield Californian]

  • It started with a hot mic moment, in which there were jokes about parents wanting their kids to go back to school so they would be free to smoke weed. Then the entire Oakley Union Elementary school district board quit. [The New York Times]

  • In his latest reform move, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, seeks information on agents with a history of misconduct that could affect their credibility in court. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Following the passage of proposition 22, companies hope to leverage their advantage and use the model to convert millions of additional jobs into employment contracts. [Bloomberg]

Learn more about the fight for Proposition 22. [The New York Times]

  • “If the studios wanted to kill the Golden Globes, they could do it overnight,” a source said. “But everyone likes to receive an award.” The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is criticized again – for breaches of ethics and automation rules. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • California almond blossom, the world’s largest pollination event, has begun. [The San Luis Obispo Tribune]

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

Travel News

Will Gavin Newsom be recalled?

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)


The sun was shining on the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum on Wednesday morning, as a parade of local elected officials offered their support and praised Governor Gavin Newsom for his handling of the pandemic.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she had often heard from counterparts in other cities “how lucky we are in California” to have Mr Newsom, who “scrambled” to speed up vaccinations .

Nancy Skinner, the state senator who represents the region, said “we can thank the governor” for the recent significant drop in coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations. She said unequivocally that stay-at-home orders, which Mr Newsom abruptly lifted last week, were the reason the state’s terrifying winter wave came to heel.

They were there, alongside Mr Newsom, to announce that the Biden-Harris administration had stepped in to help open two new mass vaccination sites in California – one at the Coliseum and one in Cal State Los Angeles – in addition to those already in place. and crossing the state.

[Read more about the state and federal partnership from The San Francisco Chronicle and The Mercury News.]

And none of this was a moment too soon, as Mr Newsom appears to be facing the increasingly likely prospect of a recall election.

“I went from thinking it’s a possibility to a probability,” said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute in California.

The institute released its statewide January survey this week, which found that most Californians (52% of likely voters) approve of the governor’s job.

While this is still above Mr Newsom’s pre-pandemic approval rating of 49% among probable voters in January 2020, it is down quite significantly from the peak in May, when 64% of probable voters said they approved of his work.

Unsurprisingly, there was a big difference between Democrats and Republicans: more than 70% of Democrats approved of Mr. Newsom’s work, compared to just 16% of Republicans.

Another poll released this week, from the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, found that 46% of registered voters approve of the governor’s performance. That poll showed another big drop, this time from September, when, according to the Berkeley Institute’s survey, 64% of registered voters approved of his performance.

“These findings should provide a strong warning to the governor,” Berkeley Institute co-director Eric Schickler said in a statement.

To qualify for a 2021 special election, the promoters of the recall must obtain around 1.5 million voters’ signatures. As Mr. Baldassare pointed out, eight of ten Republican voters have said they disapprove of Mr. Newsom’s professional performance, and there are more than five million registered Republicans in the state.

A judge also extended the signature collection deadline from November to March 17 due to the pandemic, giving promoters more time to raise funds and exploit what the Public Policy Institute investigation found to be a Particular dissatisfaction with the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.

But, of course, as we’ve seen time and time again during the pandemic, things can change quickly. Every day, thousands of Californians are vaccinated.

[Read more about how California’s dynamic with Washington shifted on Jan. 20.]

There is another big difference between last year and this year, Mr Baldassare said: We have a president whose handling of the pandemic is approved by 70% of California voters.

“And the vice president is from which state?” Mr Baldassare asked, referring to California’s own vice president Kamala Harris. “The question is whether the governor will really be able to take advantage of it.”

Almost at the right time, Newsom on Wednesday unveiled the mass vaccination partnership with the Biden administration.

In any case, Mr Baldassare noted that the dynamics of the Republican Party were barely settled, so any candidate, such as the most prominent candidate so far, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulkner , will have to answer questions about his support for President Donald Trump.

Furthermore, Mr. Baldassare said subjecting the state to a costly and consuming recall battle could backfire; polls suggest that – Democrat, Republican or Independent – there just may not be enough votes. (In January, anyway.)

“You can’t win a callback with just Republican votes,” he said.

Read more:

  • Explore this detailed voting map of Los Angeles, Orange and San Francisco counties in the 2020 presidential election – and how that has changed since 2016. [The New York Times]

  • Chamath Paliyhapitiya, a tech investor and Warriors co-owner who has fueled speculation he would run for governor, said he was not going to run. “Let’s be really honest. I’m not ready to do anything, ”he said on his podcast. [CNBC]

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement calling Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Minority Leader, a “coward” and called him “McCarthy (Q-CA)”. [The Hill]

Learn more about how, in the absence of senior leaders, Republicans like Mr. McCarthy are criticized for letting the party’s most extreme wing flex its power. [The New York Times]

  • Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and other major automakers have said they will no longer oppose California’s stricter fuel economy standards. The move was widely expected, but the change indicates that the industry is ready to work with President Biden on its biggest effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [The New York Times]

  • Wednesday, San Francisco city officials sued the public school board in an unusual move to push the district to come up with a plan to reopen schools. [The New York Times]

If you missed it, catch up on the debate about reopening California schools. [The New York Times]

  • California Supreme Court refused to hear union-backed legal challenge to Proposition 22, dealing a blow to efforts to invalidate the voting measure by deeming it unconstitutional. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

Refresh your memory on Proposition 22. [The New York Times]

  • “It’s forced. They no longer play in Oakland. They left.” The artist who designed the Warriors’ “The Town” equipment has some thoughts on the team wearing “Oakland Forever” jerseys as they play in the shadow of Salesforce Tower. [SFGate]

The Golden Globe nominees were announced on Wednesday, kicking off what promises to be a one-time (hopefully) pandemic-era awards season. But as usual, there were snubs and surprises.

Netflix has dominated in a year in which almost all of the films in the running have been released online. Three women were nominated for best director, a first.

“I May Destroy You”, which my colleague James Poniewozik described as “one of the most astonishing narrative feats not only of the year but perhaps of the last decade”, got exactly no nod while “Emily in Paris” had two?

Either way, the ceremony – which is slated to be hosted bi-coastal by Amy Poehler from Los Angeles and Tina Fey from New York – is scheduled for February 28.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.