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Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Pool//AFP via Getty Images

Nearly 1.1 million signatures from the campaign to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) have been submitted to state officials, Secretary of State Shirley Weber reported on Friday.

Why it matters: If the recall effort collects the required 1.5 million valid signatures by the March 17 deadline, this would be the second gubernatorial recall to make it to the ballot in state history.

  • The first and only gubernatorial recall that has qualified for the ballot in California was in 2003 and resulted in then-Gov. Gray Davis (D) being replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).

The state of play: Of the 1,094,457 signatures submitted, 798,310 have been reviewed with 668,202 signatures deemed valid and 130,108 invalid.

  • There are still 296,147 signatures waiting to be reviewed, but even if they all are validated, the total would not hit the necessary number.
  • Not so fast: Anne Dunsmore, a recall campaign organizer, told Politico there are still signatures left to be reported, saying that 1.2 million have been submitted and roughly 1.7 million in total have been collected.
  • The recall effort has received national attention, with the Republican Republican National Committee spending $250,000 to promote the campaign.

What to watch: "The next official state status report is scheduled for March 18 — the day after the deadline for proponents to submit signatures. County election officials will then need [to] submit results to the secretary of state’s office, which will announce if the recall has made the ballot," Politico writes.

Go deeper

11 mins ago - World

COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming

Recreated from Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

South Africa alerted the world to the Omicron variant. Now data out of South Africa may serve as a warning of what we're facing.

Driving the news: South Africa recorded 11,535 new cases Thursday with 22.4% of tests coming back positive — up from an average of about 300 new cases, with a 2% test positivity rate 10 days earlier. The country's top public health officials expect that exponential rise to continue as Omicron rapidly becomes the dominant variant.

BuzzFeed to go public, after shareholders approve SPAC deal

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is set to become publicly traded on Monday, after shareholders of a SPAC called 890 Fifth Avenue Partners voted to approve a previously-announced merger.

Yes, but: The vast majority of the money the SPAC raised in January was yanked, a signal that investors aren't very optimistic about BuzzFeed's future prospects.

Omicron cases confirmed in 4 U.S. states

A healthcare worker inserts a Covid-19 rapid test into a machine in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Daniel Brenner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Five cases of the newly-discovered Omicron variant were detected in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday, making New York the fourth state with confirmed cases.

The latest: In addition to New York, the variant has been confirmed in California, Colorado and Minnesota.