Recall Newsom organizers hit significant milestone for getting on the ballot

LOS ANGELES -- Organizers of an effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom from office say they have hit a major milestone in their efforts to get the measure on the ballot.

RecallGavin2020 leaders say they have collected 1.5 million signatures, hitting the minimum number needed to get on the ballot. They plan to continue circulating petitions through the March 17 deadline as there are always a number of signatures that get disqualified upon review by elections officials.

A recall effort needs a minimum of 1,495,709 valid signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the ballot, representing 12% of the votes cast in the last election for governor.

A Jan. 6 update from the California Secretary State's office indicated that about 16% of the 723,000 signatures turned in by that point had been disqualified as invalid. If that validation rate continues, they'd have to collect a minimum of at least 1.8 million to qualify.

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Organizers of RecallGavin2020 say the effort is driven by issues such as: "Unaffordable housing. Record homelessness. Rising crime. Failing schools. Independent contractors thrown out of work. Exploding pension debt. And now, a locked down population while the prisons are emptied."

Newsom has not commented Friday in response to the signature announcement.

There have been many recall efforts launched against governors in California history, but only one that made it onto the ballot and went on to be approved by voters - the recall of Gray Davis in 2003. Voters angry over the state's budget crisis and power shortages replaced Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Two Republicans have already announced plans to challenge Newsom, either in next year's re-election or in a potential recall vote: former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in the last election.

The White House has already indicated that President Joe Biden opposes any effort to recall Newsom.
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