With some 22 million ballots arriving in Californians’ mailboxes this week, voting has begun in Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall election.
Between now and September 14, voters will decide whether to replace Newsom, a Democrat who won in a landslide in 2018 — and if so, by whom.
While the attempt to recall the governor was once considered unlikely, recent polls show it’s now a dead end, as my colleagues reported on Tuesday.
Newsom has raised more campaign money than all of his challengers combined, and less than a quarter of the state’s electorate is Republican, but it doesn’t matter if there aren’t enough Democrats voting in the election to counter Republican enthusiasm for impeachment. .
As election season heats up, I have answers to all your questions about voting in the recall.
Where is my ballot?
Monday was the last day for counties to send out ballots, so yours should be on its way if it hasn’t arrived at your home yet.
As with last year’s presidential election, every active registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail. If you want to know exactly where yours is, sign up for the state’s free voice tracking service.
Not sure if you are registered? Look here and register here. There is still time to receive a ballot.
What’s on the ballot?
Just two questions: should Newsom be recalled? And which candidate should succeed him?
If you answer one question and not another, your vote will still be counted.
Who’s in to replace Newsom?
There are 46 candidates for governor on the ballot. A full list of their names is here.
How many votes does Newsom need to remain in office? How many should be deposited?
If a majority of voters answer no to the first question, should Newsom be recalled? — then the governor keeps his job. If a majority votes yes, he’s out.
But then it gets a bit more difficult. If voters choose to replace Newsom, the new governor will be the person who gets the most votes in the second question, even if it’s far from a majority.
Here’s how that could pan out: Current frontrunner talk radio host Larry Elder has about 20 percent support among people who want to remember Newsom, according to recent polls.
Suppose 51 percent of voters choose to recall Newsom and 20 percent choose Elder as a replacement. Elder would be our next governor.
If I vote no to the recall, do I have to answer the second question?
This one is complicated. Newsom has urged Democrats to ignore the question of who should replace him.
“One question. One answer. No to the recall. Proceed. Submit the ballot,” Newsom said at a news conference last weekend.
But some Democratic strategists think that’s unwise, because it could “create a new governor elected by only a small fraction of the electorate,” reports The Los Angeles Times. There are nine Democrats on the ballot, but none have significant support in the polls.
Newsom’s answer-only-the-first-question strategy is likely an attempt to avoid what happened in 2003, when Governor Gray Davis was recalled and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In that election, a prominent Democrat, Cruz Bustamante, was one of the replacement candidates. Some believe Democratic voters voted to recall Davis because they thought he would be replaced by Bustamante, another Democrat.
What do I do with my ballot paper once I have filled it in?
The easiest way is probably to hand it in at a dropbox.
Here are links to dropbox locations for the state’s 10 most populous counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramento, Contra Costa, and Fresno. Residents elsewhere can find information on the website of their province.
Alternatively, you can send in your ballot as long as it is postmarked before September 14th. Or you can vote in person anytime between September 4 and September 14.
If Newsom is recalled, how long will his successor be in office?
Newsom’s replacement would rule for about a year, until Newsom’s term expires in January 2023. There will be another election in November 2022 to choose who will serve as California governor for the next four-year term.
If it is recalled, Newsom can be run again.
If you read one story, make it this
To celebrate the centenary of their home as craftsmen, a San Diego couple visited the county recorder’s office last year to expung a sentence from their home’s deed — a line that everyone “other than the white or white race” had been barred from owning their home.
For much of the 20th century, racial covenants were used in the United States. And although they are now illegal, the ugly language remains in numerous property registries. Read more.
The rest of the news
what we eat
A weekend must-make, these crispy cornmeal waffles are the perfect base for roast chicken with berry jam.
Where we are traveling
Today’s California travel tip comes from June Oberdorfer, a reader who lives in San Jose. June recommends Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park near Nevada City:
It was the largest hydraulic gold mine and caused major environmental damage both on site and downstream. There is a small town (original name: Humbug) and a number of walks: a loop through the bottom of the mine where you can watch nature reclaim the devastated area, and a longer loop around the cliffs above.
Tell us about the best places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected] We will share more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.
And before you go, good news
A 29-year-old in Riverside recently reconnected with his father after finding him through Ancestry.com, The Los Angeles Times reports.
After decades of being separated, the two men discovered that their left eyes both squint when they smile and they share a love of reading. For the couple, the reunion was “the bright spot of a dark pandemic year.”