A recall petition and an election are very different things. In order to get a recall of an elected official on the ballot, you have to gather valid signatures of registered voters. You need at least 12% of the number of registered voters who voted in the last election for that office.
The signatures must be in-person (not online), so they are generally gathered in the street. Sometimes it's by passionate volunteers setting up tables, and sometimes it's people with clipboards asking other people in bust public places. As you can imagine, this is not the most rigorous of processes, and that plays out in the percentage of valid signatures:
The average signature validity rate for the 143 successful petition drives featured in this study is 75.33%. This means that three-quarters of signatures submitted by proponents were found to be valid and counted toward the minimum requirements.
The average signature validity rate for approved measures is 75.93%. The average signature validity rate for defeated measures is 75.02%.
So basically, you'd expect 25% of all the signatures gathered to be rejected. The people organizing a recall drive know this, and so they will maintain their efforts until they have a sufficient safety buffer.
In the recent (failed) LA County drive to recall the DA, the signature rejections were broken down as follows:
Mail-in ballots, on the other hand, are very different. To even get a ballot in the first place, you need to be a registered voter, and to receive the ballot at your registered address, and you only get one. So that automatically cuts out most forms of rejection other than "Mismatched Signature." That's 9,490 out of the the 715,833 petition signatures submitted, or just over 1%.Based on the examination and verification, which was conducted in compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the California Government Code, Elections Code, and Code of Regulations, 520,050 signatures were found to be valid and 195,783 were found to be invalid. To qualify the recall for the ballot, the petition required 566,857 valid signatures; therefore, the petition has failed to meet the sufficiency requirements and no further action shall be taken on the petition. A summary breakdown of the invalid signatures is as follows:
• Not Registered: 88,464
• Max Number of Times Signed (Duplicate): 43,593
• Different Address: 32,187
• Mismatch Signature: 9,490
• Canceled: 7,344
• Out of County Address: 5,374
• Other: 9,331
So a rejection rate of around 1% would be expected in elections - and probably less than that, given that elections are a more serious thing, with penalties for fraud, and usually a wider variety of things being voted for. And indeed, about 1% is what is found.
So the numbers are as expected, but a recent Breitbart story tried to make it seem like this was evidence of election fraud, when it is not.
In fact, the numbers are exactly in line with previous ballot initiative signature rejection rates, and mail-in ballot rejection rates.