#JusticeBriefs District Attorney

Efforts to gather enough valid signatures to put recall of LA DA George Gascón on the ballot fails a second time

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

Monday afternoon, Dean Logan, Los Angeles County’s Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, sent out a news release stating that his office had “completed the examination and verification” of all 715,833 petition signatures submitted for the recall of District Attorney George Gascón, and that not enough of the signatures were valid to get the recall on the ballot in November of this year.

Out of the 715,000-plus signatures submitted, 520,050 were found to be valid, while 195,783 were invalid according to the requirements of the California’s election code.

To qualify, the recall needed 566,857 valid signatures. Since the well-funded recall effort failed to meet the magic number of good signatures—meaning signatures of registered voters, non-duplicate signatures, and the like—the recall is dead. At least for now.

Gascón is up for reelection in 2024, so those who would prefer someone other than the person whom county voters elected by a healthy margin in 2020 instead of incumbent Jackie Lacey, can still try to get the present DA out of office the old fashioned way, by helping whoever runs against him in 2024 to get the most votes.

The various reasons that signatures were found to be invalid are as follows:

  • Not Registered: 88,464
  • Max Number of Times Signed (Duplicate): 43,593
  • Different Address: 32,187
  • Mismatch Signature: 9,490
  • Canceled: 7,344
  • Out of County Address: 5,374
  • Other: 9,331

“We are obviously glad to move forward from this attempted political power grab,” Gascón said of Monday’s announcement, “but we also understand that there is far more work that needs to be done.”

The DA’s primary focus, he said, “is and has always been keeping us safe and creating a more equitable justice system for all. Today’s announcement does not change that. “

Prosecutor Jonathan Hatami, who has been one of Gascón’s most vocal opponents, put out a string of unhappy tweets shortly after Dean Logan made his announcement.

“I’m incredibly saddened & disappointed by today’s news,” he wrote. “My heart breaks for the victims, their families & the entire county of Los Angeles. However, the fight for justice, public safety & doing the right thing isn’t over. It will just take a little longer.”

(Hatami was one of those who reportedly planned to hoped to personally replace Gascón had the recall been successful.)

There were similar tweets from other recall fans, including some who criticized the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for…well…counting.

As it happens, before the news broke about the problematic signature count, WitnessLA was in DA Gascón’s office in LA’s Hall of Justice, engaging in a lengthy and wide-ranging conversation with the head of the nation’s largest DA’s office.

We expect to finish the interview next week.

Then we’ll bring it to you.


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