Election officials in Los Angeles County are reportedly rejecting more than one out of five of the petition signatures submitted to support the effort to recall radical leftist District Attorney George Gascon. Leaders of the effort to get a recall ballot before voters indicate that officials are using outdated standards to reject signatures at a “shockingly high” rate.
The L.A. County Registrar’s office provided a random sampling of petition signatures to the Gascon recall campaign last month. The registrar had rejected 22% of the signatures submitted. That amounts to more than 60 times the rate of rejection for mail-in ballots in the county for the 2020 presidential election.
The Registrar's 22% rejection rate of 717,000 petition signatures randomly sampled last month is a major red flag that LA County is not complying with current law governing signature verification.https://t.co/lhKwg5p5z6
— RecallDAGeorgeGascon (@DAGasconRecall) August 10, 2022
The recall campaign responded to the sampling report by requesting an explanation for the huge number of rejected signatures. Campaign managers were able to obtain public records indicating the registrar’s office has been training clerical staff to screen recall petition signatures using standards no longer legally in effect.
The registrar’s staff has been trained to disqualify any signature showing any minor variation from the signature shown on a voter registration form.
Attorneys for the recall campaign have written to the county Board of Supervisors in order to object to the outdated signature standards being used to produce an incorrect rejection rate.
County Registrar Dean Logan posted a tweet earlier this week claiming that the complaints about rejected signatures are part of a “fictitious narrative to misinform and cast doubt.”
Attorney Marian Thompson wrote the letter objecting to the rejections on behalf of the recall campaign. She told reporters that the registrar has not been candid about the rejection process and has failed to share the exact number of allegedly invalid signatures.
Thompson said that if the county refuses to use the same legal standard applicable to vote-by-mail ballots to recall petition signatures, the campaign’s legal team is prepared to “resolve this matter in a court of law.”
Gascon has sparked controversy since taking office as L.A. County’s prosecuting attorney in November 2020. He came into office as one of several prosecutors around the country financially supported by leftist billionaire George Soros.
The Justice and Public Safety PAC funded by Soros contributed $4.7 million to the campaign to elect Gascon as lead prosecutor for America’s most populous county.
Gascon ended cash bail, loosened the application of sentencing recommendations, and reduced incarceration even for violent criminals upon taking office. He has been sued by a group of his deputy district attorneys who claimed that following Gascon’s directives would violate their oath of office.
California’s Democratic state legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted a statute in March that codified the changes to mail-ballot voting procedures implemented as emergency measures in 2020. The new standard requires election officials to presume signatures appearing on ballots are legitimate. The procedure led to a reduction in the number of rejected ballots in 2020 by more than 80%.