Los Angeles County officials have until Aug. 17 to determine how many of the 715,833 signatures submitted in the effort to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón are valid.
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan said his office has completed the first step in the review of the petitions, which were submitted July 6, and is now working on verifying the signatures. At least 566,857 valid signatures are required to force a recall election.
“As authorized in the California Elections Code — 11225 — the RR/CC will use the random sampling technique for the verification of petition signatures. The random sample is 5% of the total number of signatures submitted,” Logan’s office said. “Based on the random sampling results, the petition will be certified as sufficient, require verification of all signatures submitted, or certified as insufficient. … If the petition meets the sufficiency requirement, the RR/CC must certify sufficiency to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at its next regular meeting.”
The earliest a recall election could be held would be at the same time as the Nov. 8 general election. If those conditions are not met, a special recall election would likely take place between late December 2022 and mid- January 2023, according to the Registrar’s Office.
Gascón has been under fire since taking office in December 2020, when he issued a series of directives critics blasted as being soft on crime. The directives include a rule against seeking the death penalty, a ban on transferring juvenile defendants to adult court and prohibitions on filing sentencing-enhancements in most cases. Gascón has repeatedly defended his policies, saying his stances were well-known during his campaign and his election signified public support of his agenda.
In a statement, recall organizers said residents “have spoken in a resounding way,” noting the sheer number of people who have signed petitions and pointing to 37 cities in the county that have taken “no- confidence” votes on Gascón.
“The sheer magnitude of this effort, and time and investment required to get to this point, show how strong the public desire is to remove George Gascón from office,” according to the campaign. “From day one, this recall has been led by the very victims who Gascón has abandoned, ignored and dismissed. When the recall qualifies, he will not be able to ignore them any longer.”
Gascón, asked about the recall during a news conference last week, declined to comment. He has defended his record in various interviews, telling ABC7 his office has filed charges in felony cases at the same rate as his predecessor, deflecting allegations that he is soft on crime.
“The recall rules are fairly lax in the state of California, it requires a very low threshold,” Gascón told the station. “You don’t have to show criminal intent. You don’t have to show malfeasance. It’s very easy. We don’t like you, boom. We want to start a recall. But, be that as it may, I understand the process and we’re ready. If they get the signatures, we feel very strongly that we will succeed. If they don’t get the signatures, I’m sure there will be another recall attempt.”