Gascón recall backers ask judge to certify petition signatures

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Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — Supporters of an effort to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón filed a new legal action July 7 asking a judge to certify the recall petition against the county’s top prosecutor, saying a nearly year-long review of rejected signatures show the group actually submitted nearly 6,000 more names than required.

The Los Angeles Superior Court petition contends the review by the Committee to Support the Recall of District Attorney George Gascón resulted in the discovery of tens of thousands of valid names that were incorrectly or unlawfully invalidated by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office. The petition also alleges the registrar used negligent and flawed counting processes, while also requiring an inflated number of petition signatures due to bloated voter rolls.

A registrar representative issued a statement saying, “We were made aware of the filing late this afternoon. As with the other claims made by the recall proponents, we will respond in accordance with the legal framework without regard to the political narrative.”

According to the petition, the recall group submitted 715,833 signatures in July 2022 of people who backed the recall, nearly 150,000 more than the 566,857 signatures that the registrar informed the committee was necessary to trigger a recall election.

Over the next month, the registrar utilized close to 400 people to verify the signature sufficiency of the recall drive, most of whom were temporary workers with no background in election law or the registrar’s computer systems, the petition alleges.

Ultimately, the registrar concluded that 195,758 supporting signatures, over 27% of the total submitted, were invalid for one of 16 different reasons, the petition states. The registrar found that the recall supporters had provided only 520,050 valid signatures, about 46,807 fewer than was needed to qualify for a recall election, the petition states. 

The recall committee exercised its legal right to review the recall petition, doing a signature-by-signature assessment of the reasons for the rejection with the help of 140 volunteers and obtaining a court injunction to get access to perform the examination, the petition states.

The review showed the that the recall effort actually required no more than 540,338 signatures to qualify for a recall election and the group submitted more than 546,234 valid names, the petition states.

The registrar incorrectly rejected about 5,600 signatures based on a failure to comply with unconstitutional signature review standards, the petition states.

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