california recall voting guide for the 2021 election

By: Jacob Taylor

Hello! This voting guide covers the gubernatorial (governor) recall election taking place in California. The election happens on September 14th, 2021 but most Californians will receive their ballot by mail. You can mail the ballot back, or hand it in at a local collection location.

If you want to look up a drop-off location for your ballot, please check the California Secretary of State's Early Voting website. It also lists early voting details, and locations with same-day voter registration.

If you want to track your ballot you can use the state's endorsed system, ballottrax.

If you want to confirm that you're registered to vote, you can do that on the California Secretary of State's Voter Status website.

What question(s) are we being asked?

We have two questions to answer:

  1. Do we want to recall (remove from office) Governor Gavin Newsom?
  2. If Yes, who should replace him?

First: there must be over 50% voting Yes on Question 1 for the recall to happen. If we do not exceed 50% 'Yes' (recall the governor) votes, the governor will not be recalled.

Second: if we vote Yes to recall the governor, whichever candidate has the most votes for Question 2 wins. So it is important, even if you vote against recalling the governor ("No"), that you pick a candidate for Question 2.

If you want to read the arguments for and against the recall (from those asking to recall Gavin Newsom, and his arguments rebutting theirs), you can do so on the California Secretary of State's Voter Information Guide website. I recommend their PDF of the Official Voter's Guide [PDF: 2.4MB] — it is much better laid out than the website, which I find hard to navigate. The Official Voter's Guide also includes candidate statements and biographies.