Live Updates: California Recall Election

by CalMatters staff / CalMatters

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 14, 2021, 8:23 pm

Updated: Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 10:50 am

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Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is keeping his job, but the final California recall election vote tally is still days away. This interactive lets you track the results statewide and county by county.

A reminder: the recall ballot has two questions.

Question 1 asks: "Shall GAVIN NEWSOM be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?"

A yes vote is against Newsom and to boot him from office. A no vote is for Newsom and to keep him as governor.

Question 2 says: "Candidates to succeed GAVIN NEWSOM as Governor if he is recalled:"

If more than 50% of voters say yes on the first question, Newsom would have been removed from office. Then whoever had the most votes among the 45 active candidates listed on the second question and seven write-in candidates — no matter how few and even if they didn't win a majority — would have become governor in late October for the rest of Newsom's term.

Santa Clara County voted overwhelmingly against the recall, preliminary results showed. Of the 486,230 ballots that were tallied by 10 a.m. Wednesday, 76% were cast against the recall, while 24% were cast in its favor. These results reflected mail-in ballots and results from 96% of the county's precincts.

Of the potential replacement candidates, Republican Larry Elder and Democrat Kevin Paffrath received the most Santa Clara County votes, with Elder getting 30.1% and Paffrath 18.9%. Republican Kevin Faulconer was a distant third with 7.7% of the vote.

San Mateo County voters also strongly opposed the recall, with 79% of the early ballots opposing the recall and just 21% supporting it, according to preliminary results from the San Mateo County chief elections officer. Just like in Santa Clara County, Elder and Paffrath were the voters' top two replacement options, netting 29.9% and 17.5% of the vote, respectively. Two Republicans who dominated the recall effort early in the campaign — John Cox and Caitlyn Jenner — did particularly poorly in the two Silicon Valley counties. Cox, a businessman whose bus tours featured a grizzly bear, received just 6.1% of the votes in San Mateo County and 5.3% in Santa Clara County. Jenner, a gold medal-winning Olympian got just over 1% of the votes in each of the two counties.

California takes a relatively long time to count ballots — and not because of any fraud.

Due to the pandemic, all active registered voters received a ballot in the mail. To make it easier to vote, the state lets Californians mail in a ballot postmarked as late as Election Day — in this case Sept. 14 — and have it counted so long as it arrives within seven days.

And the results could change significantly — and not because of any conspiracy.

Because Democrats have embraced voting by mail more than Republicans, ballots that arrived before Election Day trended heavily in favor of Democrats and were reported first. As in the pandemic election of 2020, more Republicans were expected to vote in person and were obviously more likely to support the recall.

The secretary of state has as many as 38 days after the election to certify the official results.

Palo Alto Weekly reporter Gennady Sheyner contributed to this report. is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics.

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