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California Recall Election: How to vote, what to expect and what happens next

Clemente / MGN

(KION) The last day to turn in ballots for the California Gubernatorial Recall Election is just over a month away, and election officials are releasing information to help Californians prepare to cast their votes.

How to Vote

Checking Voter Status: To find out if you are registered to vote, where you are registered, your party preference, your language preference or other details about your voter status, visit the California Secretary of State website here.

All registered voters will be able to vote in the recall election.

You can use the tool below to register to vote.

Vote by Mail: All active registered voters will get a vote-by-mail ballot for the election. Counties are expected to start mailing them about 29 days in advance. Voters may also cast their ballots at in-person voting locations.

Voter Guides: An official State Voter Information Guide will be mailed to every active registered voter household. Candidates may buy space for a candidate statement of up to 250 words. A county guide will also be sent providing information about polling locations, a sample ballot and other local information.

On the Recall Ballot

According to the California Secretary of State, the recall election ballot will have two parts. The first part will ask “Shall GAVIN NEWSOM be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?" In the second part, all qualified replacement candidates will be listed, and voters can choose who they want to replace the governor if the majority of people say yes to the first part.

Voters are not required to vote on both parts of the ballot, but a voter can say no to the first question and also choose a replacement candidate.

The ballot will not include any initiatives or referenda. They can only place one on that qualified at least 131 days before a regularly scheduled or special election, and because recall elections are only called 60 to 80 days in advance, there is not enough time to put an initiative on the ballot.

What Happens Next?

If the majority of voters say yes to the first question, the recall is successful and Gov. Newsom is removed from office. The replacement candidate who gets the most votes then takes over as Governor for the remainder of the term, which is through Jan. 2, 2023.

If the Governor is recalled, county elections officials are given 30 days to finish the official canvas, and on the 38th day after the election, the Secretary of State certifies the results. The new Governor would take the oath of office at that time.

If more than half of voters say no to the first question, Gov. Newsom will remain in office.

See a list of the certified candidates below.

Important Dates

  • First day to mail vote-by-mail ballots- Aug. 16
  • Last day to register to vote for recall election- Aug. 30
  • Election Day- Sept. 14
  • Statement of Results to Secretary of State- Oct. 15
  • Statement of Vote/Certificate of Election- Oct. 22

Central Coast

Monterey County

Monterey CountyElections said voting, including in-person voting, will be available at the elections office starting Aug. 16, and ballot return locations will also open on that day. Sept. 7 is the last day MCE will mail ballots, and it's the recommended last day for voters to mail back ballots.

To check your address, you can call Monterey County Elections at 831-796-1499. If you will be out of town, you can also call that number to provide a temporary address. Ballots cannot be forwarded and will be returned to the elections office.

Find your polling place in Monterey County through the link here.

Santa Cruz County

To change your mailing address in Santa Cruz County, you can fill out the form here. You can change the address for just the recall election or for all future election mailing. You can also check your voter registration information here.

San Benito County

The San Benito County Elections Department says it will have four centers open for in-person voting from Sept. 11 to 16:

  • Sunnyslope Water District
  • CA National Guard Armory
  • Elections Department
  • San Juan Bautista Community Center

You can also find information about where to vote, what's on the ballot and how to contact election officials using the tool below.

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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