A second attempt to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón failed Monday after officials announced that there were not enough signatures to qualify the recall for the ballot, after observers were excluded from the count.
The recall effort gathered 715,833 signatures — far more than the 566,857 needed, representing 10% of registered voters in the county. However, county officials announced the they had eliminated nearly 200,000 of the signatures that were submitted.
“520,050 signatures were found to be valid and 195,783 were found to be invalid,” the county registrar said in a statement (emphasis removed). “To qualify the recall for the [November 2022] ballot, the petition required 566,857 signatures; therefore, the petition has failed to meet the sufficiency requirements and no further action shall be taken on the petition.”
Though the county rejected less than 1% of mail-in ballots in the 2020 election, Los Angeles County officials said they found that nearly 30% of signatures on petitions to recall the unpopular district attorney were invalid or could not count.
The petition fell short by 46,807 signatures — a margin that would have been covered by the sum of signatures rejected because of an address mismatch (32,187), because of a signature mismatch (9,490), and because of “other” reasons (5,374).
Throughout the process of signature validation, proponents of the recall complained that they were not permitted to observe the count. The county said observers would not be allowed because signature verification did not quality as an “election.”
Gascón was elected in 2020 on a platform of criminal justice “reform” with support from the Black Lives Matter movement, the Democratic Party establishment, and millions of dollars in spending by left-wing billionaire donor George Soros.
He quickly provoked public outrage by easing penalties for crimes — even violent crimes, such as multiple homicide and sexual assault. Gascón’s tenure has coincided with a crime surge in the country, for which many people blame his policies.
A first attempt to recall him in 2021 fell short of the number of required signatures. A second attempt appeared to have more than enough signatures by the July 6 deadline; however, even the cushion of nearly 200,000 signatures was not enough.