California’s effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom has succeeded in forcing a new election within 90 days. It’s following the validation of more than 1.5 million signatures, according to state officials.

The California Secretary of State’s Office confirmed the move Wednesday evening, Fox News reported.

The recall petition garnered over 1.7 million signatures. Of which only 43 were withdrawn, leaving the effort well above the 1.5 million threshold.

“A sufficient number of verified recall signatures had previously been reached by recall proponents in April,” the Secretary of State’s office announced in a statement. “However, in accordance with California election law, voters were given a 30-day period from April 26 to June 8th to request county officials remove their signatures from recall petitions.”

The next phase of the recall process is now in the hands of the state’s Department of Finance. It is estimating the costs of a special election. The vote must be held within 90 days.

Signatures for Recall Election of Gavin Newsom

In a press statement, Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber noted that she had sent a letter to the Department of Finance:

California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. notified the Department of Finance (DOF) by letter today that county elections officials reported a total of 43signatures have been withdrawn statewide from petitions to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, and that the remaining 1,719,900verified signatures still meet the threshold to initiate a recall election.

A sufficient number of verified recall signatures had previously been reached by recall proponents in April. However, in accordance with California election law, voters were given a 30-day period from April 26 to June 8th to request county officials remove their signatures from recall petitions.

Secretary Weber’s letter to the Department of Finance triggers the next phase of the recall process in which the DOF will estimate the costs of the gubernatorial recall if it is held as a special election and if it is held as part of the next regularly scheduled election. These estimated costs must be submitted to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Secretary of State, and the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) by August 5. Once the JLBC has had 30 days to review and comment, the Secretary of State will then certify the sufficiency of signatures pursuant to statute.

Newsom overstated California’s wildfire prevention efforts

Earlier in the day, an NPR report found the embattled governor had “misled” the public on his state’s wildfire prevention efforts.

California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (Cal Fire) in February 2019 launched 35 “priority projects,” according to CapRadio. It meant to help decrease the safety risk for more than 200 of California’s most wildfire-vulnerable communities.

The measures came in response to an executive order signed by Newsom targeting the way the state approached wildfire prevention, CapRadio reported.

More than two years later, the investigation discovered that Newsom has completed just 13 percent of the job he has promoted on the highest priority projects.

The revelations come as California is facing record levels of acres burned in the state. In 2020, according to CapRadio, 4.3 million acres burned, more than doubling the previous record, which was set in 2018.

The investigation also found that:

  • Gavin Newsom exaggerated the number of acres the state treated with fuel breaks and prescribed burns by 690 percent.
  • Newsom’s claim that the priority projects helped fire prevention work on 90,000 acres was false. The investigation uncovered that the actual number is actually 11,399.
  • The investigation also revealed that Gavin Newsom cut about $150 million from the Cal Fire wildfire prevention budget.

Newsom will be the second governor in California’s history to face a recall election. The last, Democrat Gray Davis, was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Republican actor-turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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