The petition for the recall got 83,000 signatures. Doesn’t this show that the recall is a grassroots movement?

Answer

That is a self-reported number of signatures - that number has never been audited or validated. The people collecting signatures were not volunteers, and most did not live in San Francisco. The truth is that the recall campaign paid signature gatherers a whopping $12 a signature and flew signature gatherers in from all over the country - the highest rate per signature in history.

But hey, it doesn’t change the fact that a lot of people seem to have signed. What any political consultant in California politics will tell you is that you can qualify anything you want for the ballot if you spend enough money to hire professional signatures gatherers. Campaigns incentivize signature gathering by paying them per signature and sending them across the city saying things like “Do you want to stop sexual assault? Sign here” or even tell them to say straight up lies to get people to sign.   If you are allowed to employ those tactics and have unlimited money, then yes, you will get lots of signatures. But that’s a reflection of the money you spend, not necessarily popular support.

What do you mean it is self reported and never audited? They use a random sampling of 10,000 and if they get to a certain percentage interval of signatures then they stop counting.