- Voters are asked two questions on their ballot: Should Governor Gavin Newsom be recalled? If more than 50% of voters say yes, then the next question will be decisive: who should replace him?
- The first polling stations in the state close at 8:00 p.m. PDT and a flood of results is expected from postal ballots and early in-person votes.
- Only twice in US history has a governor been recalled from office; in North Dakota in 1921; and California in 2003.
LOS ANGELES – Tuesday is decision day in California, and voters in the nation’s most populous state will have a chance to decide whether to keep Governor Gavin Newsom or recall him.
It has been a winding road to get here, but polls have shown the Democrat is likely to retain his post as head of a state known nationally as a liberal pioneer.
Whatever the outcome, the election itself is both rare and historic. A Newsom recall would potentially send shockwaves across the country and throughout the Democratic Party.
Only twice in US history has a governor been recalled from office; in North Dakota in 1921; and in California in 2003, when Gray Davis was removed from his post and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
All you need to know:Governor Gavin Newsom’s California recall election is Tuesday. Here’s what’s at stake.
On the eve of the election, Newsom received a nudge from President Joe Biden, with the Commander-in-Chief telling voters at a campaign rally that “the eyes of the nation are on California.” Biden warned Monday in Long Beach, Calif., That the impeachment of the first term governor would have consequences that would ripple across the country and risk reverting to former President Donald Trump’s “grim, destructive and confrontational politics” .
Meanwhile, Republican leader, conservative radio host Larry Elder, referred to by Biden as a “Trump clone,” predicted victory.
“Make sure your friends vote, vote, vote and try to get 10 other friends to vote and answer every call, make every call, knock on every door, we’re going to win this thing if we vote,” Elder said declared this week.
How the Californian booster works
Voters will be asked two questions on their ballot: Does Newsom need to be recalled? If more than 50% of voters say yes, then the next question will be decisive: who should replace him?
Forty-six candidates will appear on the ballot. Elder has always led the polls among those vying to replace Newsom. It will be stationed on Tuesday in Costa Mesa, Calif., About 40 miles south of Los Angeles, with supporters.
Californian reminder:Allegations of electoral fraud create ‘circus atmosphere’, prompt California governor Gavin Newsom recall
Other prominent Republican candidates include Caitlyn Jenner, a former Olympic gold medalist who starred in the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality series; former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; California Assembly Member Kevin Kiley; and John Cox, a businessman who was easily beaten by Newsom in the 2018 gubernatorial election.
The only prominent Democratic candidate who has emerged in the race is Kevin Paffrath, a real estate broker and YouTube personality.
When should we expect final results?
The first polling stations in the state close at 8:00 p.m. PDT and a flood of results is expected from the postal ballots and the first in-person votes. About 37% of the roughly 22 million ballots sent to California voters had been returned as of Monday, according to an analysis by Political Data Inc.
Democrats had returned a larger share of those ballots than Republicans, meaning the early results could show good signs for Newsom. But that might not last and the number of voters who participate on Tuesday will likely be crucial in deciding the race.
California historically takes weeks to count all the votes in statewide elections. In 2020, when nearly 18 million people voted, a third of the votes in the presidential election were counted after election night. Two years earlier, more than 40% were counted after polling day.
“All in the same team”:California Republicans ignore support fight in September recalling Gavin Newsom election
Opinion:California’s recall election is a disaster for democratic values and threatens the nation
Mailed ballots can arrive up to a week after Tuesday and still be counted, as long as they are stamped before September 14. This process can take days or weeks. Postal ballots are usually counted in the order they are received, so the last ballots to count tend to be the last to arrive.
In 2020, Republicans were much less likely than Democrats to vote by mail, in part because Trump has repeatedly asserted that mail voting is dangerous and susceptible to fraud.
If this trend continues, the results of the recall election could oscillate on election night, depending on the types of votes reported – mail ballots or in-person votes.
Most California voters voted by mail, a trend that accelerated during the pandemic as many voters were reluctant to enter crowded polling stations on election day. About 87% of California voters cast ballots in last year’s presidential election.
For Tuesday’s election, the 22 million registered voters received a postal ballot.
Mail-in ballots take longer to process than in-person votes because election officers must remove the ballots from the envelopes, verify the voter registration, and ensure that the voter signature on the envelope corresponds to the one in the file. Then the votes can be counted.
When voters vote in person, officials take security measures at the polling station so that the votes can be counted soon after the polls close.
But there were unfounded allegations of voter fraud and at least one Republican candidate in the race declined to say whether he would accept the race results.
In recent days, Elder has suggested that the recall election results could be skewed by unspecified “shenanigans”, echoing Trump’s baseless claims of electoral fraud in his 2020 run with Biden. He repeatedly declined to say he would accept the race results in various interviews.
There has been no confirmed evidence of widespread fraud.
The Elder Campaign website is linked to a “Stop CA Fraud” site where people can sign a petition demanding a special legislative session to investigate the “twisted results” long before the results are announced.
Newsom said he would accept the election results and urged Elder and others to do the same. “As an American, I am ashamed. I am disgusted with it. Stop. To grow. These people are literally vandalizing our democracy and trusting our institutions, ”he said.
When asked to provide evidence of any suspicious voting activity, Elder spokeswoman Ying Ma said the campaign wanted “every appropriate vote to be counted” and that “whatever shenanigans are exist, that will not prevent him from becoming the next governor ”.
What are voters saying?
Newsom’s recall campaign has largely focused on its COVID-19 policies. He was applauded at the start of the pandemic for being the first to shut down a state because of the virus.
Months later, California became the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, despite the governor employing some of the tightest terms in the country. Critics said he was heavy handed, shutting down businesses and keeping children out of classrooms longer than necessary. Newsom said his actions saved lives.
“I’m angry. It should be a freedom of choice. What is it? A dictatorship?” asked Janet Webb, a 69-year-old resident of Lafayette, Calif., who voted for Elder.
She said feuds over Newsom’s handling of the pandemic had divided her family and friends and may prompt her to leave the state.
“I can’t live here like this if they force everyone to get vaccinated,” Webb said.
Briana Mendoza, 30, said the last thing California needs is more unrest. She voted to keep Newsom.
“We are in the midst of a pandemic. Why would we recall the governor who really tried to curb the spread of the virus? Said the San Diego social worker.
Mendoza does not believe Newsom caused the recall by attending a birthday party at The French Laundry, an upscale Napa Valley restaurant, last fall in violation of his own administration’s coronavirus rules. Instead, she believes the effort to topple him is a backlash from a small minority of Republicans in a firmly Democratic state.
“We don’t want Elder in office,” she said. “It’s ridiculous. We just got Trump out. We don’t want a Trump puppet.
Contribution: The Associated Press