There is less than two weeks before California voters will go to the polls to decide if they want to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, but ballots can already be submitted. In fact, according to a Los Angeles Times article, nearly 2.7 million, or 12%, of California’s 22.2 million registered voters had already turned in their ballots as of Thursday, Aug. 26. Still operating under COVID-19 rules from the presidential election last November, California voters have plenty of options to cast their ballots and make sure they count. 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 be mailed at the post office, but they must be postmarked by Sept. 14. (You don’t need to add a stamp; you should have a return envelope.) There are also early voting sites. Voters 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 begins Sept. 7 and goes through election day, Sept. 14. However, most early-voting sites are closed on Sunday, Sept. 12. Qualified Californians who are not registered to vote can do so at an early voting site, election day polling location or their county’s election office, and cast their ballot then. And of course, voters can go to the polls on Sept. 14. Two questions on ballot There are two questions on the ballot that voters need to answer. 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, or more than 50%, respond yes, then Newsom will be recalled. If more than 50% respond no, then Newsom will remain in office until the next election for governor, which is about one year away in November 2022. 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. That is the second question voters need to answer 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 are a mix of politicians, entertainers and business people, including Calimesa’s Jeff Hewitt, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors District 5 representative. Newsom is not an option as a replacement candidate 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. After the election Although predictions on the outcome may be made election night, officials have 30 days to complete a canvass of the election. On the 38 th day after the election, if the recall is successful, 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 would 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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