Efforts to Begin Recalling Katie Hobbs Can Start in June, But Face Uphill Battle

There’s a lot of chatter on social media about recalling Katie Hobbs from the Arizona Governor’s Office since many believe she won due to election fraud. Some groups are raising money to fund an organized recall effort. One of the recall efforts is located on the website ArrestHobbs. Just the News featured a recall effort run by the Arizona chapter of Americans Against Mail in Voting. A third recall effort is active on Twitter.

However, the recount cannot begin until June 23, and will require collecting close to 800,000 signatures within four hot months mostly over the summer in order to succeed. Jennifer Wright, an expert on Arizona election law and practicing elections attorney, shared the legal hurdles a successful recall requires. She told The Arizona Sun Times, “Due to the immense effort and cost required by state law, which makes successful statewide recalls like this virtually impossible, diverting millions of dollars that could be expended on targeted pre-election litigation seems counterproductive.”

According to Wright, Arizona law requires a recall group to file an application with the Arizona Secretary of State before circulating petitions. It cannot be filed until Hobbs has been in office for six months. Once filed, Wright said Arizona law sets a clock of 120 days to gather the necessary signatures.

Arizona’s constitution requires collecting enough valid signatures to equal 25 percent of all votes cast in corresponding elections. Based on the 2022 statewide canvass, there were 2,559,485 votes cast in the governor’s race statewide; 25 percent is 639,872 valid signatures.

Ballotpedia stated that the average signature validity rate of initiative petitions in 2022 was 74.60 percent and suggests petition circulators must obtain 122.95 percent of the required signatures to obtain enough valid signatures for an initiative to succeed. To recall Hobbs, organizers would have to gather just under 800,000 signatures in order to reach that extra 22.5 percent to ensure there are 639,872 valid signatures.

Ballotpedia reported that Arizona’s average cost per valid signature for initiative measures in 2022 was $15.29. That means a recall effort must budget almost $10 million for professional signature-gathering efforts.

Regardless of whether a recall effort uses paid or volunteer circulators, Wright said to gather 800,000 signatures in 120 days, more than 6,600 signatures must be gathered per day. Assuming circulators average 50 signatures per day, there would need to be more than 130 signature gatherers out every day for 120 days straight during June, July, August, and September.

At or before the 120-day mark, Wright said the petitions must be submitted to the secretary of state. At that time, Hobbs could resign, but Wright said she believes that would be unlikely. Assuming Hobbs does not resign, Arizona law gives the counties 60 days to verify signatures and certify the number of valid signatures obtained. Once certified, Wright said any elector may challenge the number of signatures certified.

Although Arizona law provides that Hobbs will automatically be placed on the ballot for the recall special election, Wright said anyone who wants to run to replace Hobbs must file nomination petitions equal to 2 percent of the votes cast for governor at the last election. That equals 51,190 valid signatures — which means gathering approximately 63,000 signatures to have a cushion for invalid signatures.

Wright said she doubts Lake would be the only candidate to gather nomination petitions, making the recall race a likely three-way race between Hobbs, Lake, and a yet-to-be-determined candidate. Wright expressed concerns that a “spoiler” candidate might be recruited to peel votes from Lake to ensure that Hobbs prevails.

Assuming the recall effort started in early June, signatures must be gathered by early October. Between the counties’ 60-day review and any likely challenges that would ensue, the recall would not be certified until late December or possibly even early January of 2024.

If there are enough signatures and the recall survives any legal challenges, Wright said she believes the recall election would be set no earlier than the May 2024 consolidated election date. Wright noted that candidates running against Hobbs have 90 days to collect signatures. Ballots must be designed, printed, and mailed to military and overseas voters 45 days before the election, so the recall election likely cannot be any earlier than 150 days after the recall is certified.

Wright estimated that it would cost about $11 million to gather enough signatures for the recall and the nomination petitions. With campaign costs, a recall effort should budget around $15 million.

Based on the legal requirements, Wright said recalls are “exceedingly difficult and costly.” Even if 100 percent successful, she said “there’s no guarantee Lake would win a three-way race against Hobbs and a likely spoiler candidate.”

Wright expressed concern about how the recall effort will directly compete for advertising dollars and sap grassroots energy right when Arizona is gearing up for the March Presidential Preference Election. Grassroots efforts and donor funds, Wright suggested, might be better spent on the presidential and Senate race and in maintaining the Republican majority in the Arizona Legislature — especially as the results of three-way recall elections are unpredictable.

“Frankly, mounting a costly, time-consuming, energy zapping, and likely defeating recall effort seems to plays right into the Democrats’ hands,” Wright said. “If I wanted to drain my opponent’s time, talent, and resources, I would be cheerleading this effort.”


A recent Morning Consult poll found that Hobbs is the third most unpopular governor in the country. The Phoenix New Times referred to her first three months as a “roller coaster ride,” with “unforced errors,” “choppy waters,” and “rookie missteps you might not expect from a public official who’s held statewide office before.”

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News NetworkFollow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Katie Hobbs” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Arizona State Capitol” by Tony the Marine. CC BY-SA 3.0.


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15 Thoughts to “Efforts to Begin Recalling Katie Hobbs Can Start in June, But Face Uphill Battle”

  1. exdeadhead

    Arizona grassroots, MAGA supporting R’s should be following Kari Lake whose election lawsuit remains alive and goes to trial this month. If she is not actively supporting a Hobbs’ recall effort, then wait until maybe she does.

  2. Dan

    Since this article has a lot of math in it I would also suggest you look at the math on the validity of the last election. None of that adds up to a legitimate win for Hobbs. We need to really get a solid and better process for our votes to be verified and legitimate. They are neither as of right now.

  3. Dana

    What’s this about recall?? If a crime was committed, arrest, try and convict her and hopefully execute her for treason. Then track down the co-conspirators and do the same to EVERY one of them. Stealing elections is how civil wars begin and MILLIONS die.

  4. Anthony Melton

    Where can I go to give money for this effort? Even if a long shot it’s better than rolling over and showing your belly.

  5. Joe

    I would say if possible get 850,000 signatures to be on the safe side.

  6. Visitor

    Hobbs never campaigned because she was part of the “voter fraud organization” that Biden described.

    Hobbes knows this. She is a political snake through and through.

  7. Shirley

    We managed to recall 2 previous governor’s. Did you people change the laws to make it harder. We need to get rid of her one way or another. She is a disgrace to this state. She is trying to turn us into another disgusting garbage dump just like California.
    We need to research the constitution & see if her staying as Secretary of State while running for governor was against the law. There has to be away to get her out of office. Come on folks let’s get it done.

    1. Kurt Lagerquist

      One Way Or The Other.

  8. Dusty Dog

    As in other states, many of the recall ballots will be deemed invalid or misplaced.

  9. Greg Miller

    Fingers crossed people, getter done !

  10. 8675310

    What makes them think that the recall effort will be any more honest than the election?

  11. Wayne B(rain)

    There sill be plenty of volunteers and donations.

  12. mike

    Nothing says it was a clean, honest election like, “recall proceedings can start in 1 month.”

  13. American Voter

    Where do I sign?

  14. Fred Mack

    You lost….Kari Lake stop the BS