Effort to recall Newsom gathers over 2M signatures, enough for possible ballot measure

The effort to recall California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Republicans caught in California's recall trap Two of Newsom's four children test positive for COVID-19 MORE (D) has gathered over 2 million signatures — a number of signatures, if validated, that could force a measure on a ballot. 

The leaders of RecallGavin2020 announced this week that their effort reached over 2,060,000 signatures as of Wednesday.

“The People of California are speaking loud and clear. We have cleared another milestone. Politics as usual in California are over as we know it to be,” Orrin Heatlie, Chairman of The California Patriot Coalition, RecallGavin2020 Committee, said in a statement.

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California elections officials have to confirm 1.5 million signatures from registered state voters to trigger a special election. In early February, the California secretary of state had verified over 80 percent of the signatures collected. Many of the signatures have been gathered by volunteers. 

Organizers said they submitted 1.8 million signatures to 58 county registrar offices for review. According to The Los Angeles Times, registrars have until April 29 to finish reviewing petitions.

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis would have to schedule the election between 60 and 80 days after the final certification of signatures, the Times noted.

The Republican-led effort comes amid backlash over the Democratic governor's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly over social distancing restrictions on gathering and businesses.

Newsom acknowledged missteps in his handling of the pandemic in California during his State of the State address on Tuesday, but said California “won’t change course just because of a few nay-sayers and dooms-dayers.”

“So to the California critics, who are promoting partisan power grabs and outdated prejudices, and rejecting everything that makes California truly great, we say this: We will not be distracted from getting shots in arms and our economy booming again. This is a fight for California’s future,” he said.

The group announced last week that it had reached 1.95 million signatures. The group had until March 17 to cross the 2 million threshold.