Over 80 percent of submitted Newsom recall signatures have been verified

'We’re doing great,' a campaign organizer said. 'We’re right on track'

Nearly 1.1 million signatures have been submitted in the Newsom recall effort, and 670,000 have been verified. 

If the effort collects 1.5 million verified signatures by March 17, there will be a gubernatorial recall and Gov. Gavin Newsom will be forced to run again midterm. Californians have tried to recall their governor 55 times, but only one was successful-- that of Gray Davis in 2003, who was replaced Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

An update from the Secretary of State’s office revealed 668,902 valid signatures of the 798,310 that have been reviewed. There have been 1,094,457 signatures submitted and recall campaign organizers say they still have many more to submit. 

Officials still have to review roughly 300,000 signatures, and at the reported validity rate that would bring the total up to around 900,000, or 60 percent of the total needed by next month. 

Anne Dunsmore, who manages one of the two recall efforts, ‘Rescue California,’ said the group has submitted around 1.2 million of the 1.7 million signatures they’ve collected. 

"We’re doing great," Dunsmore told Politico. "We’re right on track."

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The recall effort has gained national attention amid frustrations with Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with a rocky start to the vaccination campaign and continued school closures. The Republican National Committee donated $250,000 to the effort earlier this month. 

Republicans have pounced on the idea of ousting the Democratic governor, and Fox News learned that businessman John Cox, in anticipation of running against Newsom if the recall effort succeeds. 

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The next and final official update is due March 18, when county election officials will submit results to the secretary of state’s office, who will verify and announce if the measure has made the ballot, according to Politico. 

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If that happens the election will likely occur in the fall. Voters will answer two questions: whether Newsom should stay in office and if not, who should succeed him. The candidate with the highest number of votes will be the next governor, regardless of party.