Petition to Recall Governor Newsom Gains Traction

Dean Ormsby, Opinions Editor

   California Governor Gavin Newsom may face a recall election due to a recent petition that has garnered roughly 1.8 million signatures, initiated by Californians who do not approve of the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  According to the New York Times, “California has been upended by the coronavirus. Most of the state is waiting, impatiently, for vaccinations. Schools in big cities have yet to reopen their classrooms

Recall efforts against governors are relatively common; however, the attack towards Newsom has gone farther than most.”

. Prison inmates and international fraud rings may have looted as much as 30 billion dollars from the state’s pandemic unemployment insurance program. And then there was that dinner at the French Laundry restaurant that the governor attended, barefaced, after telling Californians to stay in and wear masks to avoid spreading the virus” (nytimes.com).

 One and a half million signatures are needed to hold a recall election, and more than 1.8 million Californians have already signed, according to a local news outlet (actionnewsnow.com). 

   Despite there being more than 300,000 surplus signatures, a recall election is not guaranteed. This is due to the many signatures that will be discarded in the official verification process. Hundreds of thousands of signatures have already been deemed invalid, according to the Los Angeles Times (latimes.com). The deadline for submitting a signature on the petition is March 17, 2021 (nytimes.com).

   According to the New York Times, “Because signatures must be submitted to elections officials in the county where the voter lives, the process can be difficult to track in real time. And it might be slower than usual, as a number of county government offices are operating under COVID-19 workplace rules that seek to limit employee exposure. Counties have until April 29 to finish their verification of recall signatures, which could mean a potential recall election wouldn’t be held until early November” (nytimes.com).

   It should also be noted that even if enough signatures are garnered, Newsom still has a significant chance of winning the recall election (actionnewsnow.com). Senior Daniel Solomon said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if they get enough signatures for a re-election, but even if they do, he will probably win.”

   Recall efforts against governors are relatively common; however, the attack towards Newsom has gone farther than most. According to the Los Angeles Times, “While every California governor since 1960 has faced one or multiple petitions seeking his ouster, the campaign waged against Newsom is the most far reaching and successful of any such movement since 2003, when voters recalled then-Governor Gray Davis nine months into his second term in office” (latimes.com).