Californians have provided about 1.6 million signatures to meet the requirement to hold an election for the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The 1.6 million sign-ups are about 100,000 more than needed to force a recall vote on the first-term Democrat.
In a recall election, voters face two questions: Should Newsom be recalled and who should replace him? The votes on the second question will be counted only if more than half say yes to the first.
People who signed petitions now have 30 days to withdraw their signatures. But it’s unlikely that enough will do so to stop the questions going to the voter.
If Newsom survives the recall, he will be up for re-election in 2022.
On April 23, Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic athlete turned transgender activist and reality TV star, declared her intention to run to replace Newsom.
Others who have declared their intention to run include John Cox, a GOP businessman who lost to Newsom in 2018, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former US Rep. Doug Ose, who last held office in 2005.
Newsom was elected governor in 2018. Before that, he was lieutenant governor and mayor of San Francisco.
Newsom was also in the news because he ordered a ban on new fracking permits by 2024. He wants to stop all oil drilling.
The election could be held in October or November depending on how long various steps to the process take.
Once the withdrawn signatures are removed, assuming enough valid signatures remain, the secretary of state will notify the state Department of Finance, which consults with county election officials to project the cost of the recall election.
The budget is reviewed by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, which has up to 30 days to examine it.
After the committee’s review and comment period, the secretary of state will certify that the proponents have submitted enough valid signatures, and the lieutenant governor is then required to call a recall election to be held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days from the date of certification of signatures.
Falconer embraced Monday’s news, calling it a “historic opportunity to demand change.”
Jenner’s entrance puts a Hollywood-sized spotlight on the GOP-led effort to eject Newsom from office — complicating his path, firing up social media and raising questions just how much of a circus-like atmosphere will dominate the election to determine who will lead the world’s fifth-largest economy.