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California Gov. Newsom faces recall election after group reaches minimum signatures to qualify for ballot

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Organizers of the effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom have officially reached the threshold of signatures to qualify for a vote, according to California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber.

She announced 1.626 million signatures have been verified on recall petition, which will likely be part of the ballot filled out by voters later this year.

“This now triggers the next phase of the recall process, a 30-business-day period in which voters may submit written requests to county Registrars of Voters to remove their names from the recall petition,” Weber said.

Given the various legal hoops that must be cleared, it could take until September before an election date is scheduled, which strategists on both sides expect to be set for later this fall, perhaps November. 

Recall organizers believe Newsom and leaders in the Democratic-run legislature will do everything possible to delay the election, hoping that his fortunes turn as virus cases fall, vaccinations increase and schools and businesses reopen. 

“They can’t win at the ballot box. The only way they can win is to delay the system and delay the process,” said recall senior adviser Randy Economy.

The fate of a potential recall election will be decided behind closed doors, where election officials across the state have spent months assessing the validity of petition signatures.

When questions arise about a signature, the benefit of the doubt falls to the voter. Political affiliation and race cannot be considered. An exact signature match is not required — “similar characteristics” in the writing are sufficient when comparing the petition signature with those in election records.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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