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Why California’s governor recall election matters and how you can vote


Californians will be asked to vote next month on whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom or keep him in office.

All registered voters are able to cast their ballot in the recall election, which is September 14.

When will I receive my ballot?

Local election offices must begin sending out mail ballots by August 16 to all registered voters. In-person polling sites will open September 4, along with drop-off boxes. The deadline to register is August 30 and you do that here through the California Online Voter Registration website.    

What will be on the ballot?

There are two questions on the ballot. The first is a yes or no question: “Shall GAVIN NEWSOM be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?” A yes response is a vote to remove Newsom from office, while a no response is a vote to keep him as governor.

If you vote yes in the first part, answer the second question by picking one replacement candidate from a list. It says: “Candidates to succeed GAVIN NEWSOM as Governor if he is recalled:”

Who are the opponents on the list?

The list of candidates vying to replace Newsom include Republican politicians, activists, celebrities and other CA residents.

What happens after the election?

If more than 50% of voters respond no, Newsom will remain in office through the remainder of his term ending January 2, 2023.

If more than 50% of voters respond yes, Newsom will be removed from office and replaced with the candidate who tallied the most votes, regardless of whether that person received the majority. That person would take office in October.

Why should I vote?

The governor of California is a very powerful position that greatly influences policies and funding for families, child care, schools and numerous other issues like infrastructure and environment. As the pandemic continues, the governor will also have a voice in the way the state responds to virus spread and business operations.

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