California Recall Live Updates: Reaction As Gavin Newsom Celebrates Resounding Victory Over Republican Critics

Live Updates

California Governor Gavin Newsom has roundly defeated a recall to boot him out of office early as part of a row over the state's handling of the COVID pandemic and his commitment to voters.

With over two-thirds of ballots counted, Newsom enjoys a comfortable 30-point+ lead with most voters choosing "no" on the ballot paper, which asks whether or not to remove him from his position. The Democrats have framed the election as part of a national battle for the party's values and continued threats from "Trumpism."

Newsom cast the vote as a win for science, women's rights, and other liberal issues, and it ensures the nation's most populous state will remain in Democratic control for at least the next few years. Republican Larry Elder, who was vying to take over from Newsom if he lost the recall, has told supporters to "remain gracious in defeat."

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QAnon-backing candidates receive around 11,000 votes

Three candidates on California's gubernatorial recall ballot who have been known to espouse QAnon conspiracy theories or slogans collectively received 11,619 votes in early ballot return data released shortly after polls closed on election night.

Rhonda Furin, Sarah Stephens, and Nickolas Wildstar have each been identified by The Sacramento Bee as candidates who expressed support for QAnon in the past. Media Matters for America, a left-leaning nonprofit, also identified Furin, Stephens, and Wildstar as QAnon supporters in a roundup earlier this summer assessing the role of QAnon in active gubernatorial races across the U.S.

As of 9pm (ET) last night, Furin received 2,614 votes, Stephens received 6,790 votes and Wildstar received 2,215 votes, according to unofficial and partial election results released by the California secretary of state's office. Stick with Newsweek for the full results.

FULL STORY:QAnon Supporting Candidates Got More Than 11K Votes in California Recall

WATCH: Newsoms says 'democracy is not a football' as he confirms victory

Recall election to cost almost $300 million

It is expected to cost California taxpayers $276 million, according to estimates compiled by the state's Department of Finance earlier this summer.

The state agency was required to submit estimates to California Secretary of State Shirley Weber's office regarding how much it would cost county and state officials to carry out the election before the date was set. The Department of Finance's initial estimate said it would cost $215.2 million but the figure was later revised, stating that it would cost counties an additional $28.4 million and the state an additional $32.4 million to carry out the vote.

Newsom thanks voters for choosing 'yes to science'

Tonight, California voted NO on the recall and YES to…
Women’s rights.
Immigrant rights.
The minimum wage.
The environment.
Our future.

We rejected cynicism and bigotry and chose hope and progress.

Thank you, California.

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 15, 2021