As Newsom Recall Campaign Nears End, At Least a Third of California Voters Already Voted

The deadline to vote in California's recall election, which could potentially unseat Governor Gavin Newsom, is fast approaching, and at least a third of the state's 22 million registered voters have cast their ballots.

Among those voters is the governor himself, who voted Friday to keep himself in office before the Tuesday close. The results will decide whether Newsom will remain in office and carry out his first term or be ousted by another candidate.

"I think we're gonna be alright," Newsom joked. He cast his ballot at an early voting center in Sacramento with his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

The impetus for the recall vote came amid frustration from Republican political organizers unhappy with Newsom's leadership. They cited his policies on immigration, crime, taxes and other issues that were amplified by the pandemic, during which Newsom placed health restrictions on businesses and ordered Californians to wear masks.

Despite the commotion around the recall, polls indicate that Newsom is likely to remain in office. One poll from Survey USA and The San Diego Union-Tribune shows that 54 percent of likely voters will vote "no" to recall Newsom while the remaining 41 percent plan to vote "yes."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Newsom Recall Vote
As the Caliornia recall election nears, at least a third of Californians have already voted. Above, Newsom looks over to see how his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom voted, when they cast their ballots at a voting center in Sacramento, California, on September 10, 2021. Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

Voters will be asked two questions: Should Newsom be recalled and, if so, who should replace him? He needs support from a majority of Californians to win. Otherwise, whoever wins the most votes among 46 replacement options will become governor. It would very likely be a Republican.

Speaking to reporters after voting, Newsom expressed confidence but said he's taking nothing for granted in the final days.

"I'm just focused on doing the job, encouraging folks to turn out and to get our base out at this critical juncture," he said.

Larry Elder, the leading Republican in the replacement field, said this week his campaign has an "integrity board," with lawyers ready to look into questions about possible fraud or other irregularities. People can contact his campaign through his website.

"I believe that there might very well be shenanigans, as there were in the 2020 election," he said, referring to former President Donald Trump's unsupported claims of fraud in his loss to Joe Biden.

Newsom criticized those claims, saying "we're four days out, the election hasn't even happened and now they're all feigning election fraud. And I think it's important to highlight that."

Asked if he would accept the results of the election if he loses, Newsom said he planned to win but would respect the will of the voters.