World Fact Check: Did California Verify Signatures for Newsom Recall But Not Mail-In Ballots?
California Teachers Feel 'Disposable' as Gavin Newsom Pushes For Schools to Reopen
Several California teachers told Newsweek about their concerns about returning to the classroom without being vaccinated.California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been facing growing pressure to resume in-person instruction from parents keen to have children back in classrooms before the entire school year slips away.
Last year, the movement to recallbegan after growing frustration over the Democratic California governor's leadership.
Organizers of Recall Gavin 2020 and Rescue California cited several reasons why Newsom has "failed Californians," including rising unemployment, homelessness, high taxes, a rise in crime, lack of affordable housing, a failure to enforce immigration laws and his move to "overrule the will of the people regarding the death penalty."
California's Recall Gavin Newsom Campaign Touts 'Major' Announcement after $250K GOP Boost
The petition for the California governor's recall has almost hit 1.5 million signatures, campaigners said.Speaking to Fox 11 Los Angeles on Thursday, Recall Gavin senior advisor Randy Economy said the campaign would be making a "major" announcement on Friday, and said the petitioners were "very close" to reaching the 1.5 million signatures they need to move forward with their recall effort.
Rescue California is a political committee that also aided in the recall of California Governor Gray Davis in 2003. According to its website, the purpose of Rescue California is to "augment the current recall efforts by circulating petitions and validating signatures to ensure the qualification for and scheduling of a special election to recall Governor Newsom."
The movement gained momentum in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many Californians grew increasingly upset over Newsom's lockdown policy, vaccine rollout and after photos circulated online of a maskless Newsom eating dinner with lobbyists inside the French Laundry restaurant.
As of February 10, the recall petition had reached more than 1.5 million signatures, according to Rescue California chair and former California Republican Party Chair Thomas Del Beccaro.
Gavin Newsom Faces Recall Election as Campaign Collects 1,509,000 Signatures
Only one California governor has been removed from office following a recall election in the last 100 years.Recall Gavin Newsom launched last year and amassed more than 900,000 signatures by the end of December. The recall campaign said it collected more than 1.4 million signatures by early February and gathered a total of 1,509,000 signatures by Friday.
EVERYONE: We have over 1.5 mill raw signatures but they are not all verified. My message is that 1.5m sounds great but is NOT ENOUGH. To ensure qualification we need 1.9 million. https://t.co/AagEb5mh6v https://t.co/nwN1JOxL5I— Thomas Del Beccaro (@tomdelbeccaro) February 11, 2021
California law says petitions for the recall of state executive officials "must be signed by voters equal in number to 12 percent of the last vote for that office, and must include at least five counties equal in number to 1 percent of the last vote for that county." According to the Rescue California recall website, this means 1,495,709 valid signatures are the minimum requirement for Newsom's recall.
The recall effort was granted an extension to gather required signatures, which are now due March 17. Counties have until April 29 to verify the signatures.
Some people expressed frustration online over the need to check the validity of signatures on the recall petition.
Fact Check: Did Wealthy Areas Around Dallas Not Experience Rolling Power Outages?
While millions of Texans are without power in their homes due to a winter storm, some social media users allege that a few wealthy areas around Dallas have not been affected by controlled outages.The effects have been widely shared on social media by those who have lost power. One user tweeted an image of icicles hanging from their apartment ceiling fan on Monday.
Actor Kevin Sorbo tweeted that California is requiring signature verification for Newsom's recall petition but did not require the same verification for mail-in ballots from the November 2020 election.
So California is requiring signature verification for Gavin Newsom’s recall, but didn’t require it for the mail in ballots. How strange— Kevin Sorbo (@ksorbs) February 15, 2021
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale addressed the tweet, claiming it was false.
"California did verify the signatures of people who voted by mail in 2020," Dale said. "Counties checked the signatures on ballot envelopes against the signatures on file in voter registration records."
It does not require a Herculean effort to figure out this viral claim is false.
California did verify the signatures of people who voted by mail in 2020. Counties checked the signatures on ballot envelopes against the signatures on file in voter registration records. pic.twitter.com/KTqUVmjB6Z— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 15, 2021
Theaccount for the office of California secretary of state shared a section of the California State Code that outlines the signature verification process.
Gavin Newsom Recall Unlikely Even as Petition Clears Hurdle, Democratic Strategists Say
Efforts to recall Gavin Newsom have drawn comparisons to the successful recall of former California Governor Gray Davis in 2003, but strategists say the two scenarios are entirely different. It was just months into Davis' second term that a recall campaign summoned enough support to trigger a recall election, and Davis later lost his position to Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in the fall of 2003.Eighteen years later, Newsom is likely to face a recall of his own after Recall Gavin Newsom announced it had collected more than 1.
FACT: CA county elections officials verify the signatures on EVERY
✅initiative, referendum, or recall petition
✅candidate nomination document.
*Source:https://t.co/Laj17g6qk0 pic.twitter.com/RNtbU6FOM8— CA SOS Vote (@CASOSvote) February 15, 2021
In a statement to Newsweek, the California Secretary of State office confirmed that county election officials verify the signatures on every vote-by-mail ballot, initiative, referendum, or recall petition, and candidate nomination document.
According to the California State Code of Regulations, "for signature verification, the elections official must compare the signature on an initiative, referendum, recall, nominating petition or paper, signature in-lieu of filing fee, and any other petition or paper must be compared to the voter's signature(s) in the voter's registration record. In addition, the elections official must compare the signature on a voted vote-by-mail envelope and a voted provisional ballot envelope to the voter's signature(s) in the voter's registration record prior to counting a ballot."
California code also states that every person who signs the recall petition must be a registered voter in the jurisdiction of the official against whom the recall attempt is being pursued. If the signer is not a registered voter in California, the signature will not be counted. If the petition submitted contains more than 500 signatures, the election officials may use a random sampling method to check the validity of the signatures.
California Teachers Get Small Victory As Newsom Announces They Can Get COVID Vaccine in March
Providing vaccine access to teachers has been a big sticking point between the state and unions in their ongoing negotiations to reopen schools.Starting next month, 10 percent of the first COVID-19 doses California receives will be set aside for educators and child care workers, Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday. While 35 of California's 58 counties were already making COVID-19 vaccines available to teachers, Newsom said this move would help teachers statewide gain access to vaccine appointments.
While the signature verification process may vary slightly from county to county, state officials said the verification process "should generally be the same whether they are reviewing ballots or petitions."
Prior to the November 2020 election, California was preparing for a record-breaking number of mail-in and drop-off ballots before election day.
According to election officials, the two-step signature verification process involved running ballots through a sorter that takes a photo of the signature on the ballot envelope and compares it to the voter's signature on file.
"If it doesn't feel like it's a complete match, it kicks it out of the system and into the file of some of our human eyes that look at the signature [on the envelope] and the signature we have on file to determine if they feel like it's a match," Sacramento County Public Information Officer Janna Haynes said in October 2020.
If the signatures didn't pass those tests, the department said it would reach out to the voter and request they submit a new signature.
"I want voters to be confident that just because their signature doesn't match doesn't mean we automatically trash their ballot. We do make every effort to reach out to voters to ask them to submit a new signature...we work really hard to make sure every vote counts," Haynes said.
According to the California Code of Regulations, signatures on both mail-in ballots and recall petitions must undergo a verification process.
Who Qualifies For California Stimulus? How to See if You're Eligible For $600 Checks .
Some Californians could receive their $600 checks as soon as about a month after filing their 2020 tax returns. The $600 payments form part of the state's $7.6 billion COVID-19 relief package, which includes $2.1 billion in grants and fee waivers for small businesses.An additional $2 billion in tax breaks for businesses is expected be approved by the California Legislature this week, raising the total relief amount to $9.6 billion.Who qualifies for the $600 stimulus payment?Those who fall within the following categories are qualified to receive the $600 check: Residents receiving CalEITC for 2020.