Everything you need to know about the governor’s recall election on September 14th

Aug 18, 2021 | Updates

The terms “special election,” “gubernatorial recall,” and “election in September” might be making your head spin, but it’s vital that we all turn out for this upcoming election on September 14th, 2021. Here is everything you need to know about the election and voting:

What is the Gubernatorial Recall Election all about?

Governor Newsom is up for a recall, so on September 14th, voters will be asked to decide whether he should be replaced. This is a special election, which is why it’s not aligning with a regular election, like general elections.

How does the recall part of it work?

Voters will be asked:

  1. Whether the governor should be recalled
  2. If he is recalled, who should replace him

If more than 50% of the votes to question 1 are “Yes, the governor should be recalled,” California’s new governor will be whoever gets the most votes from question 2. If If more than 50% of the votes to question 1 are “No, the governor should NOT be recalled,” the current governor will remain in office until his term is up in 2022.

What is the timeline for this election?

Ballots start to be mailed to every registered voter: Week of Aug 16
Early voting starts: Aug 16
Register to Vote by:  Aug 30 (if you miss this, California also has conditional voter registration!)
Election day: Sep 14 (Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Election day)

How do I register to vote?

To register to vote in California, you must be:

  •  A United States citizen and a resident of California
  • 18 years old or older on Election Day
  • Not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony

If you are eligible, you can register to vote or update your registration online at registertovote.ca.gov.

To pre-register to vote in California, you must:
• Be 16 or 17 years old
• Meet all of the other eligibility requirements to vote

After pre-registering, you will automatically be registered to vote on your 18th birthday. Go to registertovote.ca.gov to pre-register to vote.

What if I need I’m not sure if I’m registered to vote or if my voter registration is up to date?

To check your voter registration status – including political party – you can use the “My Voter Status” tool at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov. You can also call our Voter Hotline at 1-800-345-VOTE (8683) for your status.

What if I miss the voter registration deadline?

If you miss the deadline to register to vote 15 days before an election, you still have an opportunity to register and vote. You can go to your county election office, vote center, or polling place on or before Election Day to complete the conditional voter registration process (often referred to as “Same Day Voter Registration”). You will have to fill out a voter registration card and will be given a ballot. Once county elections officials have verified your voter registration, your vote will be counted. Contact your county elections official for more information or visit vote.ca.gov.

What if I need voter information in a different language?

Statewide voter information is available in 10 languages. Visit www.sos.ca.gov/election/votingcalifornia. Contact your county elections official to see what languages local information may be available in.

When will I receive my voter guide?

Registered voters will receive, by mail, their nonpartisan State Voter Information Guide from the Secretary of State’s office a few weeks before Election Day. The State Voter Information Guide will also be available online at voterguide.sos.ca.gov. County elections offices will also mail a county voter information guide to voters. County voter guides will include information about where and how to vote as well as a sample ballot

When will I receive my ballot?

For the September 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election all active registered California voters will receive their ballot in the mail, if they have registered before the voter registration deadline. County elections officials will begin mailing ballots by August 16, 2021.

Can I track where my vote-by-mail ballot is?

Yes! Sign up at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov to receive an automatic email, text, or call notifications about your ballot.

What if I need a replacement ballot or need an emergency ballot?

If you did not receive a vote-by-mail ballot or you have lost or destroyed your original vote-by-mail ballot, the timeframe to request a vote-by-mail ballot has passed, or you are unable to vote in person at the polls, you may apply in writing for a late vote-by-mail ballot. This application will need to be provided in person to the county elections official by you or your representative. The late vote-by-mail ballot application can be found at elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/vote-by-mail/pdf/latevote-by-mail-application.pdf.

How can I return my vote-by-mail ballot?

Instead of going to the polls on Election Day, you may vote using the vote-by-mail ballot that will be sent to you. Early voting and drop box locations can be found at caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov.

  • By mailing it to your county elections official (must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office
    no later than 7 days after Election Day)
  • Dropping your ballot into one of your county’s ballot drop boxes, or at a ballot drop-off location, ballot drop box, or a polling location anywhere in
    the state
  • Asking someone you trust to return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis.

How do I find out if my ballot has been counted?

You can go to “My Voter Status” to find out if your vote was counted and if not, why not at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.

How early can I vote?

Your county may offer early voting locations before Election Day. For a list go to vote.ca.gov. For the September 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election, vote-by-mail ballots will be mailed to every active Californian voter on or before August 16, 2021. To ensure your vote-by-mail ballot is counted, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county election office no later than 7 days after Election Day.

How do I find my polling place or vote center?

  • Check the back of your county voter information guide for your polling place, vote centers, or ballot drop-off locations
  • Contact your county elections office
  • Call the Secretary of State’s Voter Hotline -1-800-345- VOTE (8683)
  • visit voterstatus.sos.ca.gov
  • Text ‘VOTE’ to ‘GOVOTE’ (468-683)

San Francisco Department of Elections Contact Info

Email: SFVote@sfgov.org or Contact Form
Phone: (415) 554-4375
Toll Free: (866) 325-9163
TTY: (415) 554-4386
中文: (415) 554-4367
Español: (415) 554-4366
Filipino: (415) 554-4310

This information is from https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/2021-ca-gov-recall 

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