California’s election rules could make a Newsom recall a wild ride

SACRAMENTO —  

There is very little set in stone for a recall election in which voters could remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office beyond the ballot’s basic question of whether the governor should keep his job.

Recall elections have been the electoral equivalent of a comet making its way through the solar system. Of the 55 attempts in California history to qualify a gubernatorial recall, only one, the dismissal of then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2003, has made it to the ballot. That is likely to change by year’s end, as backers of the effort to oust Newsom are on the verge of triggering a special statewide election this fall.

Though the tally of signatures on recall petitions won’t be complete until next month, there are significant issues to be sorted out. With flexible timelines and unusual rules, the coming months could be some of the most raucous political times in recent memory.

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