August 24, 2021

California’s Recall Election: What You Need to Know

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Who: U.S. citizens 18+ years old who live in CA

What: A critically important recall election of CA Governor Gavin Newsom

Where: On your voting ballot

When: Now through Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 8 PM PT

How: If you are already registered to vote, your ballot will have arrived by mail. If you need to update your voter registration or register for the first time, you can do so up until September 14 by visiting www.registertovote.ca.gov/.

  • Return your ballot in-person – Your ballot should have already arrived by mail. Fill it out and return it to a ballot dropbox, voting location, or your local county elections office by 8 PM on September 14. You can find ballot drop off locations at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place
  • Return your ballot by mail – You may also return your ballot by mail. If mailing your ballot, you must ensure it is postmarked by September 14.
  • Vote in-person on election day – You may go to your local polling place to vote on September 14 between 7 AM -8 PM PT. To find your polling place, text Vote to GOVOTE (468-683) or go online to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place.

What’s on the ballot?

Your ballot will have two questions:

  • Question One asks whether you want to recall – or end the gubernatorial term of – Governor Gavin Newsom. To retain Newsom as Governor, vote “No” and leave the second question blank.
  • Question Two should only be filled out if you do not want to retain Newsom as Governor. This question lists 46 candidates – the top vote getter would replace Newsom if 50% or more vote “yes” on Question One.

What’s at Stake?

  • Recalling Governor Newsom will have profound implications for CA residents, including efforts to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fight the climate crisis, protect LGBTQ+ communities from harassment and discrimination, and support the many diverse populations that live in CA.
  • The frontrunner challenging Newsom is Larry Elder, a right-wing radio host who has stated that he plans to reverse all mask and vaccine mandates if he takes office, including for school employees. He also has a history of far-right views, including on climate change, where he has cast doubt on the science. Not only that, but Elder voiced support for Trump’s military escalations against Iran, stating: “We’ve been at war against Iran for 40 years. It took President Trump to notice”
  • There are also major national implications. In extenuating circumstances, the Governor of CA is called upon to replace a sitting U.S. Senator if they are no longer able to serve in office. If Newsom is recalled, the new Governor could have the opportunity to appoint a replacement Senator –  having profound implications for national legislation in the evenly divided Congress.

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