Voters can submit their ballots today through election day, Tuesday, Sept. 14, in the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Although Sept. 14 is election day, the recall is still operating under COVID-19 rules, giving California voters lots of opportunities to submit their ballots early. As of Sept. 1, more than 4 million of California’s 22 million registered voters have returned their ballots, according to a Newsweek report. If you can’t make it to the polls on Tuesday, voters can turn in their ballots at early drop-off locations. Local, secure drop-off sites include the Yucaipa Library, on Fifth Street, the Yucaipa Police Department, on Yucaipa Boulevard, and Calimesa City Hall, on Park Avenue. Ballots can also be mailed at the post office, but they must be postmarked by Sept. 14. No stamp is needed as mail-in ballots that were sent to every registered voter in California came with a return envelope. There are also early voting sites. Vot-ers can find in-person early voting sites in their county on their sample ballot or by going to their county’s registrar of voters website. Early voting started Sept. 7 and goes through election day. However, most early-voting sites are closed on Sunday, Sept. 12, so make sure to check the information on the website. Qualified Californians who are not registered to vote can actually register at early voting sites, election day polling locations or their county’s election office, and cast their ballot then. Filling out ballot There are two questions on the ballot for voters. The first one is: “Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?” This is a yes or no answer. If a majority of voters respond yes, then Newsom will be recalled. If more than 50% respond no, then Newsom will remain in office until the next gubernatorial election. If Newsom becomes the second governor in California history to be recalled, following Gray Davis in 2003, the qualified candidate with the most votes would replace him until the next election for governor in November 2022. That is the second question on the ballot: “Who do you want to replace Gavin Newsom?” Voters can skip a response and leave the question blank, or they can mark one of 46 candidates listed. The candidates include Calimesa’s Jeff Hewitt, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors District 5 representative. Newsom is not an option as California law prohibits the incumbent from being listed in a recall as a replacement candidate. Newsom also might have more support than a replacement candidate, but that does not matter if a majority of California voters want him recalled. Post-election State officials have 30 days to complete a canvass of the election. If the recall is successful, on the 38th day after the election, the Secretary of State will certify the election results and the new governor will take the oath of office and assume the position for the remainder of the term, or through Jan. 2, 2023, when the next elected governor will be sworn in. The recall election targeting Newsom is costing California counties $276 million to conduct, according to estimates released by the state Department of Finance in July and reported by several news sites. To track your vote-by-mail ballot to see when it is mailed, received and counted, visit california.ballottrax.net/voter
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