Beanna Reeves |

The Newsom Recall Election is rapidly approaching with less than seven days until election day, September 14. 

California voters have already received their mail-in ballots and voting is already in process with early voting taking place across the state. 

The ballot will only ask two questions:

1. Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?”

2. If Gavin Newsom is removed, who shall replace him? (Choose a candidate).

If 50 percent or more of voters vote NO, the governor will remain in office. If more than 50 percent vote YES, the governor will be removed from office and the person with the most votes will replace him. 

Black Voice News has developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet to answer some of the most pressing questions about the recall.

When can I vote in the Recall Election?

Voting-by-mail began on August 16, 2021 once official ballots were mailed out. Vote-by-mail ballots that are returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day, September 14, and received by your county elections office no later than three (3) days after Election Day.

Polls will be open on Election Day, September 14,  from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Those who want to vote but are not registered, can submit a provisional ballot at their local polling place. 

What happens if I lose my initial mail-in ballot?

If you lose your mail-in ballot and would like to vote, contact election officials, ask to nullify your ballot and request a new one. Voters can also vote provisionally by going to their local polling place on election day and requesting a new ballot. Your new ballot will count pending the verification that you have not already voted.

What can I do if I make a mistake on my ballot or forgot to sign my ballot?

If you make a mistake on your ballot you may request a new ballot or bring your ballot to your local polling place and request a new ballot, voiding your initial ballot. If you forget to sign your mail-in ballot, your local county election official will contact you and request your signature in order for your vote to be counted.

How do I know if I am dropping my ballot off at an official ballot box?

Official drop boxes and early voting locations can be located by visiting: VoterStatus.sos.ca.gov, CAEarlyVoting.sos.ca.gov or FindMyPollingPlace.sos.ca.gov

How can I track my ballot?

Each ballot has a specific number or barcode which allows you to track the status. You can track your ballot here: https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/ 

Will Gavin Newsom be listed as an option as a replacement candidate on the ballot?

No, Gavin Newsom will not be listed as a candidate. Gavin Newsom can not be listed as a candidate to replace himself. A full list of the certified replacement candidates can be viewed here.

If someone writes in Gavin Newsom’s name as a replacement candidate, will their vote count?

If a voter answers the first question with “No” and then chooses to write-in Gavin Newsom’s name on the second question, their vote on the first question will be counted. Writing in a replacement candidate on the second question does not affect the first question, but Newsom’s name will not be counted if written in.

What happens if I vote “No” on the first question on the ballot, but don’t choose a replacement candidate on the second question?

Your vote will be counted if you only answer the first question and do not choose a replacement candidate on the second question. Each question is counted independently, so a vote in response to one question does not impact the other.

If Newsom is recalled, when will a new governor take office?

County elections officials have 30 days after the election to complete the official canvass. If the recall is successful, the Secretary of State will certify the election results and the new governor would take the oath of office and assume the position for the remainder of Newsom’s term (through January 2, 2023).

When will the Recall Election results be announced?

On the 38th day after the election, if the recall is successful, the Secretary of State will certify the election results and the new governor will be seated. After polls close on election day, unofficial election results will be available at ElectionResults.sos.ca.gov.

What is the Secretary of State’s plan to audit the election results?

Under the California Elections Code §15360, a one percent tally of the votes cast by voting systems will take place. This public process consists of manually tallying votes in one percent of precincts selected at random by the elections official. 

Who can I call if I have questions or concerns about my ballot or voting?

If you have any concerns about your ballot or the voting process, please contact the toll-free voting hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683)/

How many signatures are required for a gubernatorial recall? 

To qualify a recall of the Governor for the ballot, proponents need a minimum of 1,495,709 valid petition signatures. This number is equal to 12 percent of the votes cast for the office of Governor in 2018, which is the last time the office was on the ballot.

Will there still be an election for governor in 2022?

Yes, an election for a governor to serve a full four-year term will still take place in November 2022. If Gavin Newsom is recalled, the candidate elected to take his place will only serve out the rest of the current term.

Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America Corps member. Previously, Breanna reported on activism and social inequality in San Francisco and Los Angeles, her hometown. Breanna graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Print & Online Journalism. She received her master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics. Contact Breanna with tips, comments or concerns at breanna@voicemediaventures.com or via twitter @_breereeves.