- Voters asked two questions on their ballot: Should Governor Gavin Newsom be removed? 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 closed at 8:00 p.m. PDT and a flood of results is expected from mail 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 – Polls in California’s recall election have been closed, ending a historic 18-month effort that puts the fate of Gov. Gavin Newsom at stake.
It’s been a winding road to get here, but recent polls have shown the first-term Democrat will likely retain his post as the head of the country’s most populous state, known nationally as a liberal pioneer. Polling stations are closed at 8 p.m. PT
The first results that should be released come from the first in-person votes and mail-in ballots, both of which have historically biased the Liberals. The votes will likely give Newsom a boost, but the end results could stretch over days or weeks. California historically takes weeks to count all the votes in statewide elections.
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 and 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 asked two questions on their ballot: Does Newsom need to be recalled? If over 50% of voters said yes, then the next question was key: who should replace him?
Forty-six candidates were 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.
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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?
Polling stations in the state closed at 8:00 p.m. PDT and a flood of results is expected from postal votes 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.
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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 focused largely 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.
Voters’ priorities divided according to parties
Polls at the end of the polls show COVID-19 was the number one issue for voters, followed by homelessness, the economy, wildfires and crime.
The exit poll, conducted by Edison Research for multiple media outlets, found that about a third of voters listed COVID-19 as the main issue in determining how they voted.
But the problem split across parties: more than four in 10 Democrats said COVID-19 was their main problem, compared to about a fifth of Republicans. Conversely, Republican voters were more than three times more likely than Democrats to list the economy as their main problem.
Voters have offered mixed reactions to the current trajectory of the pandemic in California, with around four in 10 saying the situation is improving, three in 10 saying it remains about the same and just under one. quarter claiming it is getting worse.
The results largely align with recent polls on top voters’ priorities. In a recent Public Policy Institute of California poll, COVID-19 again topped the list of issues important to voters in the state.
Contributing: Tom Coulter, The Desert Sun; The Associated Press