I keep getting asked the question of whether California really has the lowest signature requirement in the country for governor. The basis of the question has to do with Montana's law. Montana requires the signatures of 10 percent of registered voters. California requires 12 percent of voter turnout in the last election. What does that mean in practice? Petitioners needed 1,495,709 to get the Newsom recall on the ballot. If California instead used Montana's law, based on voter registration data from February, petitioners would seem to have needed 2,215,430 signatures.
There are other reasons that Montana is vastly harder. Montana is a malfeasance standard state, so it is extremely difficult to get the petitions approved absent an actual crime. Additionally, the timeframe for collection in Montana is 90 days compared to 160 in California.