Davis recall is bound for public vote



The Associated Press

The effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis only needed 897,158 signatures to kick in.

It got 1.3 million.

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley announced yesterday he had certified the nation's first gubernatorial recall election in 82 years.

He said the state's 58 counties had reported their valid petition signatures many more than the number required for the unprecedented recall to go before the voters.

In Tuolumne County, 3,645 petitions were turned in to the county clerk's office. That means close to 12 percent of the county's 29,914 registered voters signed petitions. Of the signatures, a sample of 1,475 were checked and 1,245 about 85 percent ended up being valid. Assistant County Clerk Jackie St. George said that is a pretty high number of valid signatures.

Petition signatures are generally collected for ballot measures, St. George said, and usually are 70 to 75 percent valid, she said.

Between May 20 and June 16, St. George said, 401 signatures were turned in and 337 were valid.

People's Advocate, a group collecting signatures, turned in batches between June 17 and July 16. The first had 1,496 signatures and the second had 1,748. When more than 500 petitions come in, St. George said, election code allows the clerk's office to take a sample of the signatures to test for validity.

In the first batch, 427 of the 500 in the sample were valid. There were 408 valid signatures in the second batch's sample of 502.

County clerk's office staff members check petitions to see if the people signing them are registered voters, have signed and printed their names and have physical addresses.

In Calaveras County, 2,518 petitions were turned in and 2,211 of the signatures were valid, said county Elections Supervisor Sandy Rader. There are 24,871 registered voters in Calaveras County.

Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante was expected to set the date for the special election this morning. An election could be held as early as Sept. 23.

The Union Democrat
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