A push to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom moved into its next phase on Wednesday as counties submitted updated signature counts.
State law allows people who sign recall petitions to subsequently withdraw their support. That process saw a grand total of 43 Californians erase their signatures, according to the Secretary of State’s office, putting the total at 1,719,900 — more than 200,000 beyond what is necessary to force a vote.
This was something of a formality. Newsom’s team had already conceded that the signature withdrawal window would not prevent the recall from qualifying.
What now: The Department of Finance has 30 business days to analyze the cost and must submit its estimate by Aug. 5, according to a letter from the Secretary of State.
“The Secretary of State is hereby notifying the Department of Finance that the proponents of the recall effort against Governor Gavin Newsom have submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures to initiate a recall election,” Secretary of State Shirley Weber wrote to Department of Finance Director Keely Bosler.
But that process could move more quickly because Finance already compiled an estimate so that the Legislature could allocate counties more money to run the election.
The Legislature then has 30 days to comment on the analysis. But there, too, the timeline will be compressed: Legislative leaders have already said they would waive that period to weigh in. Lawmakers are negotiating a bill that would allow the Legislature to do so.
Once the finance analysis is finished, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis will set a date for 60 to 80 days later. That could mean an election as soon as September, although county elections officials have said September 14 is the absolute earliest an election would be logistically feasible.