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SLO County Clerk-Recorder's Office prepares for recall election despite missing a key team member

Booths at a polling place election day
Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 22:57:18-04

The first gubernatorial recall election in California since 2003 will take place in just a few weeks from now.

Tommy Gong worked his last day as the County Clerk-Recorder for San Luis Obispo County on July 2. His position has not been filled and the recall election is just weeks away.

Workers at the County Clerk-Recorder's Office tell us they are working overtime and doing everything they can to prepare.

The election in which California voters will decide whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom and who would replace him is set for September 14, 2021, with ballots being mailed out on August 16.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Deputy Director Helen Nolan explains what the outcome of the ballots could look like.

"If 50 percent of the voters across California answer yes, then they'll go to the top vote-getter for the second question and then that person would become the replacement governor. If 50 percent of the voters or more vote no throughout the state of California then the second question will... we'll still tabulate it but it won't matter at that point," Nolan said.

Even as the County Clerk-Recorder's seat remains empty, Nolan explains their team is focused on doing the best possible job.

"We're working together as a team. Everyone in that office is highly committed and professional and dedicated. We are pushing forward to get this election done in the most professional, transparent way we can and have it be successful and that's our focus right now," Nolan said.

With just weeks to go, Nolan says their focus is on getting necessary information out to the public.

"As of today, we're 53 days away from the election. We are doing everything from creating the ballot itself to creating the voter information guide," she said.

Division Supervisor Tami Bisantz says community members have stepped up to volunteer and they could use the help.

"We've been getting a lot of calls from the public asking if they can work for us as a poll worker, so this is a good thing. We can always use people in the office, too, working. So just contact our office and we'll be able to get the ball rolling on that," Bisantz said.

Nolan says there's still more to do before Election Day.

"We are working with our vendors to create the mailings that are going to have to go out to the public, updating our website, processing voter registrations, doing voter registration outreach so that we can inform the public on what's coming," Nolan said.

If you would like a replacement ballot, Nolan encourages you to reach out to the County Clerk-Recorder's Office or visit in person and they will issue a new ballot.

Ballots can be returned by mail through the post office, at any one of the 17 official ballot boxes throughout the county, in person to the County Clerk-Recorder's Office, or at any polling place on Election Day between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Voters can also vote in-person on the day of the recall election.