The recall campaign launched June 10, 2020, needing at least 1,495,709 valid signed petitions in order to trigger a recall election. By the deadline of March 17, 2021, 2.1 million signatures were submitted, clearly passing the minimum threshold. On April 26th, 2021, the California Secretary of State announced that 1,626,042 signatures were found to be valid.
The recall process is now eligible to move into the next step. “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,” Secretary Weber stated. Unless enough signatures are withdrawn to move the amount below the threshold, the recall will continue.
The recall would make for a special election with a ballot that is different than typical elections. The ballot would require voters to choose “yes” or “no” to remove Gov. Newsom from office, and if they choose “yes” they will pick from a list of replacement candidates. In order to remove him, more than 50% of voters must choose “yes” and the candidate with the most votes will be elected governor.
Individuals who have announced their run on a Republican ticket for the next governor of California include Gold medal Olympian and reality show star Caitlyn Jenner, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, and businessman John Cox.
The most recent successful effort to recall a governor in California was in 2003, when Gov. Gray Davis was removed and former bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was voted in as his replacement.