State officials confirmed Wednesday that a recall election would go ahead after just 43 people withdrew their signatures to recall the governor during the 30-day window required by state law.
As a result, California’s Treasury Department will now begin assessing the cost of the recall—including the cost of conducting it as a special election or as part of the next regularly scheduled election—which will then be administered by the governor, Lt. will be presented. The governor, secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee by August 5, according to a letter outlining the process to California Secretary of State Shirley Weber. A spokesman for the California Department of Finance previously told CNN that the recall would cost about $215.2 million. A date has not yet been set.
The recall drive has been fueled by anger over restrictions imposed by Newsom to curb the spread of COVID-19 over the past year and an alarming rise in cases in California during the winter holiday months.
Newsom’s critics met the state’s threshold for a recall election in April after a sweeping effort to collect signatures in each county backed by prominent Republican strategists.
“It’s what it is. It’s a Republican recall,” Newsom said in an exclusive interview with CNN earlier this year. “The memory of an RNC-backed Republican white supremacists, anti-Semitism and anti-immigrants is an accurate assessment of who is behind this memory.”
State voters will be asked two questions on the recall ballot. First, do they want to vote “yes” or “no” on recalling Newsom, who was elected in 2018 with about 62% of the vote.
The second question is which candidate they would like to replace Newsom with, and they will choose from what is likely to be a very long list of names (candidates from different parties will appear on the same list). By law, Newsom is not allowed to substitute his name on the ballot.
When then-California Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, was recalled in 2003, more than 125 candidates – including Davis’ eventual replacement, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger – jumped into the race, creating a circus-like political atmosphere for months.