By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — An effort to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has failed to qualify for the ballot due to a lack of valid signatures, election officials announced Monday.
To force a recall election, supporters needed to collect 566,857 valid signatures, a figure that would represent 10% of registered voters in the county. In total, more than 715,800 petition signatures were collected, though only 520,000 of those were found to be valid, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office announced Monday.
According to county election officials, more than 88,464 of the invalid signatures came from voters who were not properly registered to vote in the county, and thousands more were invalidated due to mismatched signatures and addresses. Nearly 44,000 submitted signatures were duplicates.
Proponents of the recall effort targeting Mr. Gascón claimed that the district attorney’s directives led his prosecutors to be “soft on crime.” In particular, Mr. Gascón’s directives that prevent youth from being tried in adult court and prohibit prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in any case drew sharp criticism from those in support of the effort to oust him.
The campaign behind the recall effort did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Center Square.
In a statement to ABC7 (KABC-TV), a spokesperson for Mr. Gascón’s campaign said they are “obviously glad to move forward from this attempted political power grab, but we also understand that there is far more work that needs to be done.”
“The D.A.’s primary focus is and has always been keeping us safe and creating a more equitable justice system for all. Today’s announcement does not change that,” the spokesperson told ABC7.
The failed recall effort targeting Mr. Gascón comes after voters in San Francisco recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin in June. Supporters of that recall effort made claims that District Attorney Boudin’s policies failed to hold serial offenders accountable for crimes.
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.