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California recall election: What Santa Barbara County voters need to know

Posted at 12:37 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 15:37:39-04

The recall election for Governor Gavin Newsom is set for September 14th, and there are a lot of moving parts that go along with the election process. Here’s what you need to know:

Every registered voter in the State of California will receive a ballot in the mail starting August 16th, but counties will still have polling places for those choosing to vote in-person. Santa Barbara County will have 86 polling places on Election Day. Mask recommendations, sanitizing stations, and social distancing will be implemented at the polling places.

Santa Barbara Registrar of Voters, Joseph Holland, says if you are mailing in your ballot, the most important aspect is to sign the envelope. If there is no signature or the signature doesn’t match the one you used to register to vote, the ballot will not be counted. Holland says his office had much less time than normal to gear up for this election.

“Typically, we have 88 days to prepare for a regular election. For this election, we didn’t find out until a couple weeks ago. We only had 60 days’ notice,” said Holland.

There are 46 candidates on the ballot. If a majority of voters want Governor Newsom recalled, the candidate with the most votes will become the next Governor of California. In the only successful governor recall election in 2003, Gray Davis was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Holland says the turnout for that recall was higher than normal.

“With a recall election, it’s kind of hard to figure out what the turnout’s going to be. In 2003, the previous gubernatorial recall, we had a 66% turnout,” said Holland. “I’m hoping that we get at least that for this recall election.”

Santa Barbara County needs 400 poll workers to work on Election Day. You can be any age, preferably a registered voter over the age of 18, and compensation is included.