Report: Newsom recall drive has enough signatures to trigger special election, if verified

Organizers say more than 1.5 million Californians have signed motion.
Gavin Newsom, Feb. 12
Gavin Newsom, Feb. 12
(San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers/Getty)

The growing effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom has reportedly secured 1.5 million signatures, which, if authenticated, would be enough to trigger a special election, Fox News reported on Saturday.

The state secretary will have to process the signatures first to ensure they are valid. 

"Organizers are aiming for 2 million signatures by mid-March due to the verification process and the campaign is seeking a comfortable margin," Fox reported. "The group noted there was a 25% disqualification rate among signatures collected last time."

Newsom has faced extended criticism for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic—particularly his shutdown orders, which have at times been among the strictest in the nation—as well as a disastrous PR blunder last year when he was spotted mask-less and at a crowded dinner table in an indoor restaurant. 

The last California recall election took place in 2003; in that instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger successfully won the election after voters recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.