The campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom received more than 20,000 direct-mail petition signatures in a single day, and organizers say the barrage of mail is an indication the initiative is working.
Inside the office of Anne Hyde, Rescue California’s campaign manager and finance director, volunteers on Jan. 4 opened and sorted thousands of envelopes containing signed petitions, a response to the 1.5 million direct-mailers sent to registered Republicans by the campaign.
“Those signatures will be used to reach the minimum of 1.5 million valid signatures that are required to recall the governor of the State of California,” Hyde told The Epoch Times.
Hyde said that the campaign received approximately 11,000 pieces of mail, with petitions averaging two to two-and-a-half signatures per response, and estimated that there were between 20,000 and 25,000 signatures in the batch.
After this batch is processed, Rescue California will have approximately 1 million signatures. According to Hyde, they have been averaging slightly more than 80 percent validity in signatures, which if continued would mean that organizers would need 1.8 million total signatures by the Mar. 17 deadline.
Hyde noted that Newsom has continued to take missteps, causing the gaining momentum in those signing the recall petitions.
“Clearly, you can pinpoint it to his appearance at the French Laundry ... and now you're starting to see it translated into an absolute spike in signatures,” she said.
Hyde also said that if the recall goes through, California residents will be seeing a different set of state policies under a new governor.
“You're not going to see the very left and destructive legislation being signed into law like you saw this last year,” she said. “And furthermore, supporting legislation that absolutely takes a deep stab at the very heart of our economy. Our tax base is fleeing the state. So I don't know how you accomplish everything they want to do, when you're ruining the tax space."
Hyde said she was “absolutely” sure that Rescue California would receive the needed signatures before the deadline, if not sooner.
Alan Johnson, a volunteer who was helping open mail responses, said that this recall goes past party lines.
“To me, it is a nonpartisan issue,” Johnson told The Epoch Times. “I've never found myself to be partisan, but I try to judge things based on principle, and with good policy, you get good results. With bad policy, you get bad results. And there's a whole lot of bad policies coming out of Sacramento. That should not be partisan.”
He added that he didn't care who the next governor would be, as long as it was someone who was honest.
“I don't really care if it's a Republican or a Democrat,” Johnson said. “But I want somebody that's honest, and if that's possible among politicians, and if it’s somebody that wants law and order to be obeyed, I can get on board with them.
“But this is very bad now, and so almost anything would be an improvement. We're in bad shape, and we shouldn't be.”
Julie Hayden, another volunteer, told The Epoch Times she volunteered because she felt a duty to make a difference with what was happening under Newsom.
“I felt like [I was] complaining about what's going on, and [I wasn’t] doing anything. I had to do something. So I've been going and sitting at various locations, collecting signatures,” Hayden said.
“[Newsom] has taken away our basic civil liberties, our rights. He's overstepped his boundaries. It's unconscionable what is happening to the people in California today. It's absolutely unconscionable.
“We just want to get back to California the way that we've all known it. And since he's been in office, it's a state that I don't even recognize.”
Julie Assarpour, also a volunteer, said she decided to get involved after she saw how Newsom was hurting small businesses.
“The most obvious [reason] is the lockdown. I'm a small business owner, so it affects all of us,” Assarpour told The Epoch Times. “There's so many restaurants and small businesses being affected, many are going out of business, restaurants are closing. Many people's lives are being affected, and it's really unnecessary.
“If you look at different states where they're not having a lockdown—there, there really isn't any change.”
After the mail responses are opened and sorted, they will then be taken to a signature validation company to determine which signatures are valid. The validator will compare the new petitions against previously turned-in petitions to ensure that all signatures are from registered voters and that there are no duplicates.
After signatures are verified, they'll be given to the original petitioner, which is the California Patriot Coalition, where they'll be submitted to each county’s registrar of voters.