Gavin Newsom was depicted as a dictator on a rally sign in June in San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

Officials with the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Sunday that they’ve collected 1.95 million signatures, a number they believe is enough to force a recall election.

According to the Sacramento Bee, election officials must verify that approximately 1.5 million signatures are from valid registered California voters before the recall can officially proceed.

The publication reported that the Secretary of State’s office, led by Dr. Shirley Weber, a San Diego Democrat, announced that about 83% of the signatures checked out by early February were valid.

According to KCRA.com, several hundred people rallied in Sacramento on Sunday against Newsom.

“It’s not just about recalling Gavin Newsom,” Mike Netter, of Recall Gavin Newsom 2020, told KCRA. “It’s about making a change in the way that California is run now and needs to be run in the future.”

A spokesman for Newsom, Dan Newman, though, called the recall effort a distraction from pandemic recovery.

“These Republicans want to waste energy, attention, and $100 million of taxpayer funds – all of which should stay focused on vaccinating, recovering, and reopening,” Newman said in a statement to KCRA.

The recall effort led by retired Yolo County Deputy Sheriff Orrin Heatlie said last month that it has collected more than 1.3 million signatures toward the 1.5 million needed by March 17 to force the recall. 

President Joe Biden’s press secretary has said the President opposes the Republican-backed recall effort against Newsom.

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