The organizers said during a press conference on Sunday that they have gathered 1.95 million signatures in support of Newsom’s recall, more than a week ahead of the March 17 deadline.
They need only 1.5 million signatures to trigger a special election, but the organizers said they expect to hit 2 million within the next few days.
“That is more than enough to be able to have this initiative qualified for a special election later this year to let the people finally decide … what is gonna happen with the fate and the future of California Gov. Gavin Newsom,” Randy Economy, a political adviser working on the effort, said.
“Californians are consistently becoming more disgruntled with how their state’s run,” he added.
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Election officials must confirm that 1.5 million of the gathered signatures came from registered California voters before they can schedule the special election.
As of last month, the Secretary of State office had determined that 83% of the petition’s signatures were legitimate.
If that rate remained the same with all of the petitions, it would be enough to force an election.
“I don’t think you’ve ever seen a volunteer movement like this,” Mike Netter, one of the organizers, said.
“It’s literally people from all walks of life, all parties, all religions,” he added. “We have a diversity across the board collecting and united [on] one thing, and that’s the fact that California needs a new governor.”
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Actually unseating Newsom would be more difficult than getting a recall on the ballot.
Only once since the state began recording its recall efforts in 1913 has a governor been successfully booted from office.
That was the 2003 recall of Democrat Gray Davis that resulted in Arnold Schwarzenegger being elected.
Newsom has already faced five previous recall attempts, none of which made it to the ballot.