It looks like Gavin Newsom is going to have to win again on Election Day if he wants to finish his term as governor of California. Republican opponents have turned in about 1.5 million signatures, the secretary of state announced Monday, which is enough to put the question of Newsom's recall on a statewide ballot by the end of the year, the Los Angeles Times reports. A few steps remain that could take as long as three months. People who signed the petition have a month to withdraw their signature, and state officials have to figure out how much the election will cost. Then the secretary of state officially certifies everything, giving the lieutenant governor the job of calling an election in 60 to 80 days. Newsom has sounded resigned to the idea and said he wants the debate to be around issues such as immigration, the minimum wage, and climate change.
Recall supporters have cited several reasons to wanting the vote, per the Sacramento Bee. The petition filed in February 2020 mentioned immigration and homelessness. But Newsom has faced dissatisfaction with his decisions during the pandemic, including stay-at-home orders and limits on businesses and churches. The election probably will be held in the fall. Two questions would be on the ballot, per CNBC: Should the governor be recalled? Who should replace him? The votes on the second question won't be counted unless a majority of voters say yes to the first question. The last time this happened in California, which is one of the few states to allow recalls, it touched off a scramble among 130 candidates—including a raft of celebrities—who thought they could win in a short campaign. That's how Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor in 2003. (This time, Caitlyn Jenner is running.)