The organizers of the recall effort against California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom announced Sunday that they have collected enough signatures to put the special election on the ballot.
At a press conference in Sacramento, organizers claimed they have gathered 1,927,000 signatures in support of the recall, more than a week ahead of the March 17 deadline. Recall organizers said they still plan to try to reach 2 million before that date.
Organizer Orrin Heatlie said in a statement, "We have cleared another milestone, and now we are entering the final stretch of this part of the official campaign to remove California Governor Gavin Newsom from power and office."
Elections officials still need to verify that 1,497,709 of the signatures are valid and come from registered California voters before the special election can be scheduled.
"This is now a national and worldwide story. The media is dialed into our campaign and we will continue to tell the real story behind this movement," said Randy Economy, Senior Advisor of RecallGavin2020.
In February, the Sacramento Bee reported that the California Secretary of State’s Office had determined that about 83 percent of the signatures gathered at that time were verified. They postulated that if the rate remained constant through the process, organizers would have enough signatures to schedule an election.
RecallGavin2020 co-proponent Mike Netter said that approximately 1.6 million of the signatures were gathered by volunteers.“The people of California are speaking loud and clear, and we will continue to work tirelessly until the People of California become the final judge and jury on this recall,” said.
The multi million dollar recall effort against the Governor began as a response to Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and gained momentum following the meal at the French Laundry and after Newsom ordered a second lockdown in response to a surge in COVID cases. Newsom's orders closed businesses around the Golden State but left an exemption for Hollywood production to continue. Last month, Newsom was caught once again inside of a restaurant that was ordered closed under his onerous lockdown restrictions.
Just last week, Newsom was sued by a high school students who advocated for sports to be allowed because exemptions had been made for professional athletes.