Santa Rosa, CA – May 12, 2021 – Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters Deva Marie Proto announced today that a petition circulated to recall District Attorney Jill Ravitch has been certified as sufficient. Proponents of the recall have gathered more than the required 30,056 valid signatures of registered voters to trigger a recall election. As a result, the recall question will be heading to voters in a special election on a date later this year. The Board of Supervisors has to set the election date within 14 days of the petition being certified to them. That matter will be brought before them at the May 25 board meeting. The Registrar of Voters will be recommending an election date on Sept. 14.
Proponents of the District Attorney recall filed a notice of intention to recall with the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office on Oct. 22, 2020. On Nov. 10, 2020, recall petitions were approved for circulation by the Registrar of Voters. Proponents were required to gather valid signatures from 10 percent of Sonoma County’s registered voters, which came out to 30,056. On April 12, 2021, the recall petition was filed with the Registrar of Voters Office. It consisted of 43,316 face-value signatures.
Pursuant to California Elections Code Section 11225, the Registrar of Voters first conducted a random sample of the submitted signatures and found that, based on the statistical results, 108 percent of the necessary signatures were estimated to be valid. If the percentage of estimated valid signatures falls between 90 and 110 percent, the Registrar of Voters is required to perform a full signature check of the petition. On May 11, 2021, the Registrar of Voters Office completed a full signature check and certified the petition as sufficient, finding 32,128 valid signatures, or 106.9 percent of the required number of 30,056.
The Registrar of Voters will certify the petition to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors at the Board’s next regularly scheduled board meeting on May 18, 2021. The Board of Supervisors is required to issue an order to call a special election for the recall within 14 days. The election must be held between 88 and 125 days after the issuance of the order.
The estimated cost to hold a special election for a countywide recall based on current county registration numbers is $2 to $3 per voter, or approximately $606,192 to $909,228. Some of the costs that go into the estimate include:
- Creating and printing ballots and voter information guides
- Increased payroll costs due to the hiring of polling place workers, temporary election workers, and overtime hours
- Precinct supplies and transportation of those supplies
- Envelopes, labels, letters, and printing costs for voters, districts, candidates, and others
- Envelopes and labels for ballots
- Postage for outgoing ballots, return ballots, voter information guides, and correspondence
- Information technology setup assistance and legal assistance
Costs are highly variable and depend on many factors, including the number of registered voters, the number replacement ballots required, the number of ballots printed for each polling place, the number signature cure letters needing to be sent, as well as the voter turnout and when/how ballots are returned.
The breakdown of information of signatures on the petition is as follows:
Total signatures submitted/checked: 43,316
Not registered: 4,955
Registered at different address: 2,857
No residence address given: 407
Cannot identify: 234
Signatures don’t match: 1,030
Out of county: 293
No signature: 54
Registered late: 255
Declaration incomplete: 89
Printed signature: 7
Wrong city for street address: 5