Secretary of State Clears Up Recall Election Confusion

Kitty Alvarado

California’s gubernatorial recall election is fast approaching, ballots will start being mailed out August 16th, 2021.

“It is rare it’s only happened twice in our history that we’ve had this kind of election,” says Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber adding it’s unique and important because if Governor Gavin Newsom is recalled there will be no run off election, “you have to get 50 percent plus one to recall the governor and remove him from office but to actually become governor it does not require a majority vote which means we can have a governor, with 40 some odd people, we can have someone who got 20 percent, 15 percent of the vote and becomes governor of the largest state in the union.”

This is a sample ballot, it’s a pretty straight forward with two pages, the first question is a yes or no question: Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled from the office of governor?

If you vote no you do not have to go to page two of the ballot, where you can select the replacement of your choice from a list of over 40 candidates.

But many are wondering: if you vote no, can you still select a candidate to replace California’s governor?

“Whether you vote yes or no you can still vote for the second half which is that if there is a recall who would you choose to replace the governor, so folks can vote for both of them,” says Weber.

COVID protocols are still in place for this election, if you are registered to vote you will automatically get mailed a ballot.

And if you need an easier way to fill out a ballot Riverside County’s Registrar of Voters Rebecca Spencer says you can actually fill it out online, “You have to enter your name and residence address and it will pull up a ballot for you that applies to you, you can mark your ballot on your computer but you still have to print it out put it an assigned envelope and send it in to us

Spencer says if you get more than one ballot, only vote once, the rest will be void and if more than one are sent in they will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office for review and if it’s determined you tried to vote twice, you can face criminal charges.

The last day to register to vote in this election is August 30, 2021. If you don’t meet the deadline you can still register to vote in person the same day of the election but you will be voting on a provisional ballot.

Weber warns against people going out and intimidating voters, something she says was seen in Riverside County in the 2020 election, “There were caravans of people trying to block the exit on the freeway okay, they didn’t want people to go to the polls to vote, well immediately that was notified and highway patrol came … so we do take these things very seriously, it is against the law to try to block people from voting and people can be prosecuted for doing that … that is a federal offense and a serious one … that is our right, that is our right as a democracy to be protected for all of us to be able to express ourselves without any intimidation without any fear whatsoever.”

Weber says you should contact their office immediately or your local registrar if you see or experience intimidation.

It’s easy to vote in California: you can vote by mail, in person, early on on the day of and register the same day.

Weber says the important thing is to vote, “Everyone needs to vote, that’s the main thing everyone has a right and has an opinion and this is an extremely important election, let us turn out in great numbers to vote.”

Check your voter status: VOTE

Riverside County Polling Places: VOTE RIVCO

Secretary of State Recall Election Questions: Recall Election FAQ 

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