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2021 Recall Election (September 14): Home

Information on the 2021 California Governor Newsom Recall Election

Timeline for 2021 CA Recall Election

Timeline for Recall Election (Information from the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters)
July 16 Candidate filing deadline
August 10 Voter Information Guides mailed
August 16 Ballots mailed
August 16 Voting begins
August 30  Deadline to register to vote in this election
September 7 Deadline to request a replacement ballot
September 14 Election Day - get your ballot in to a polling place or to the Registrar of Voters!
October 14 Certification of Election Results

Video - voting in the 2021 Recall Election

Remember to read the instructions on the back of the yellow ballot return envelope and SIGN YOUR BALLOT before returning it!

Useful Links

If you have any questions or problems with your ballot or the election, contact the San Bernardino Registrar of Voters

Business Hours: 
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone Numbers: 
Toll Free: 800-881-VOTE;  
General Information: 909-387-8300


Check to see if you are registered to vote with the California Secretary of State.


Register to Vote: (Deadline to register to vote in the California Recall Election is August 30, 2021.) uses BallotTrax so that you can set up notifications tracking your ballot through the process. (For instance, it will tell you when your ballot is mailed out to you, when it is received, and when it is counted.)


VotersEdge is a service, a website created by the League of Women Voters. They ask candidates to fill out forms to get basic comparable information on all candidates for the voters.

Remember to sign the ballot return envelope

Ballot return envelope frontYour ballot will come with a return envelope (postage already paid)

ballot envelope

The instructions on the back of the envelope remind you to sign it before you mail it or put in a ballot box. "Your ballot will not be counted unless you sign in your own handwriting." (They compare it to the signature they have on file from your voter registration.)

Ballot envelope back - where you sign

Reliable Information

There is a lot of misinformation out there. Some of it seems designed to suppress the vote. Here are the main points you should know:

  1. The ballot is in two parts: part 1 asks if you want to recall Governor Newsom, part 2 asks who you want as governor if Governor Newsom is removed from office.
  2. For Part 1: the question is do you want to remove Governor Newsom from office. If your answer is "no" I do not want him removed, then you vote "no." If you answer is "yes" I want him removed, you vote "yes."
  3. Then you go on to Part 2.



Part 2 asks, if the governor is removed from office, who do you want to take his place for the rest of his term. It is a separate question from the question in Part 1. Whether you voted that you want the current governor to stay or to be removed, you can vote who you want to finish his term IF he is removed.

There are a lot of social media posts out there that are LYING about this. They are claiming that you cannot vote on the second part of the ballot if you voted NO on the recall. THIS IS FALSE. You can vote both parts of the ballot. From the Secretary of State's FAQs on the Recall Election:

"Voters can vote on either one or both parts of the recall ballot. A voter can vote “no” to the question of removing the current elected officer from office and also select a replacement candidate."

California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber spoke on the California Report (National Public Radio, KQED) about the recall ballot in an interview aired on August 12, 2021.



Informed Voting

A lot of factors will go into your decision on how you want to vote in Part 1. You might feel that Governor Newsom's actions saved lives, you might feel that they wrecked the economy, you might just be furious that it is costing California a fortune to run a recall election!

If you vote "no" in Part 1, you are voting to keep Governor Newsom in office.

If you vote "yes' in Part 1, you are voting to remove Governor Newsom from office.

Part 2 of the ballot is more complicated. The California Constitution stipulates that the first question, whether or not to remove someone from office, requires a majority of the votes (50% + 1). If the governor is removed, his replacement is chosen by a plurality of the votes - whoever gets the most votes wins.

There are 46 candidates running to replace the governor. It is certain that more people will vote to keep the governor than will vote for any one candidate to replace him. So we are in the position that, if 48% of the voters vote to keep the governor (with 52% voting to remove him from office) and 7% vote to replace him with Candidate X, and 7% is the highest percentage for any of the 46 candidates, then Candidate X will be our governor until January 2, 2023 even though the Governor had 48% of the voters wanting him to be governor and only 7% of the voters wanted Candidate X.

There is no way to know how Part 1 of the ballot will come out, so please think carefully about how you vote in Part 2.

Q: With 46 candidates to select from, how do you choose?

A: By your values, guided by your experience.

Here is a list of common strategies, just to get you thinking. You may use one or more of them, or have one of your own that you like better. 

  1. Strategic: use a filter to find the candidates acceptable to you, then vote for the one with the best chance of winning.
    Example: Suppose I want to vote for a Democrat, so that's the "filter" I use. Then I Google California Recall Election polls. I find that Kevin Paffrath (Democrat) is leading among the Democrats, and so if I used this strategy and I wanted a Democrat to win, I would vote for him. 

  2. Affinity: I want to vote for someone who resonates with me. I could watch debates and interviews, or I could go to candidate campaign pages, or I could find a source of candidate biographies and read those.
    Example: Suppose I work at Cal State San Bernardino, and someone told me that Jeff Hewitt (Libertarian) is an alumnus. So I decide to vote for him. 

  3. Policy: I could go to a website like VotersEdge, and put in my zip code. (VotersEdge is a web service created by the League of Women Voters which is a non-partisan organization whose mission is registering and informing voters.) In the bottom right corner of the box that lists the candidates is "Compare all 46 candidates." This brings up a page with tiles for each candidate, with their photos and top three priorities. I can click on "compare" for the ones who interest me, and the compare screen gives me more depth so that I can compare candidates.
    Example: Suppose I want California to set a policy that masks cannot be required anywhere. Daniel Mercuri (Republican) lists ending mask mandates as one of his top priorities, so I might vote for him. 

  4. Job Interview: With job applicants many people say that past performance is the best indicator of future performance. I could search candidates of interest to find out if they are all talk, or if they have actually accomplished something I think should be done. I could search for news stories on candidates or I could click through to candidate websites through their profiles on VotersEdge.
    Example: By clicking through I found that Michael Loebs (no party preference) is an organizer with the California National Party. I can find extensive information on his beliefs and that he's a lecturer at SFSU. I don't see a lot on his leadership on getting things done. His ideas are interesting. I like to see a track record of accomplishments. I think I would keep looking to decide how I want to vote.

  5. Follow the money: this is tricky for an election with such a short timeline, many of the campaign finance filings will be made public too late to be much help to voters. However, to see what has been filed, I would again go to VotersEdge. In each candidate profile there is a "contributions" link. Click on that to see the candidate filings on campaign contributions.
    Example: James G. Hanink (no party preference) lists the American Solidarity Party as donating more than $1,000. I could look them up and form an opinion about them to decide whether or not I want to vote for someone they are supporting. 

  6. I believe in: There are probably organizations you trust to have done their homework and select a candidate. On VotersEdge, in the candidate profiles, you can find endorsements.
    Example: the ones I found are individuals I know nothing about. If I had found that someone was taking money from an organization I approve of (for instance, my union), that would certainly be part of my decision. 

The bottom line: VOTE!

My plan is to vote this Saturday. I already know how I want to vote on Part 1 of the ballot. I will decide on a strategy and pick someone to vote for on Part 2 of the ballot Saturday morning. My goal is to get to the Post Office before it closes on Saturday and send it in, before it gets buried under papers on all my other projects. 

Make a plan. Make sure you get your ballot in on or before September 14. If you really can't choose someone for Part 2 - then just fill out Part 1 and send it in. Every vote counts!