Government / Politics

Recall election FAQ

Answers to questions about the Sept. 14 gubernatorial recall election ballot.

On Sept. 14, registered voters in California will be presented with the question “Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of governor?” To answer this question, the Department of Finance estimates the state will spend $276 million in the recall election and voters will be able to choose from 46 certified replacement candidates.

According to a letter from the Secretary of State Shirley Weber, San Benito County is expected to spend about $450,000 on the recall election. 

If successful, it would be the second time in California history that a governor was recalled. In 2003, Democrat Gray Davis was replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

The state began mailing ballots on Aug. 16, which can be turned into county election offices and drop-off locations starting Aug. 17. There are six drop box locations, under 24-hour video surveillance, in San Benito County: 

  • Winn Alley, outside the SBC Elections Office, 440 Fifth Street, Hollister
  • Fire Station #2, 2240 Valley View Road, Hollister
  • Community FoodBank, 1133 San Felipe Road, Hollister
  • Ridgemark, 100 Ridgemark Drive, Hollister
  • Hollister Super, 1280 San Juan Road, Hollister
  • Windmill Market, 301 The Alameda, San Juan Bautista

Polls will close at 8 p.m.on Sept. 14, and the deadline to certify the election is Oct. 22.

Residents can track the outcome through the California Secretary of State’s Election Results website


What is on the ballot?

There are two parts to the ballot. The first part is answering the recall question: “Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of governor?”

The second part includes the list of qualified replacement candidates. 


Can voters participate in both parts?

Yes. If a majority of the votes on the recall are “yes,” Newsom will be replaced by the candidate who receives the highest number of votes for the remainder of the governor’s term in office (his term ends Jan. 2, 2023). All votes for a replacement candidate will be counted regardless of whether a voter selected “yes” or “no” in the first part. Replacement candidate votes from voters who select more than one replacement candidate will not be counted. 


How many votes are required to recall Newsom?

If the majority of participating voters select “yes,” the recall will be successful. If 50% or more vote “no,” Newsom will remain in office.


Are there write-in candidates?

According to the secretary of the state website, the certified list of write-in replacement candidates will be available on Sept. 3.


If the recall is successful, when does the new governor take office?

The new governor would take the oath of office following the certification of election results. The deadline to certify the election is Oct. 22.


When can I register to vote for the recall?

California residents can register to vote online or at the Elections Office on or before Sept. 14 to participate in the recall election. Those who register after Aug. 30, will receive a ballot administered by the Elections Office.


Where can I vote in person?

San Benito County will operate four voting centers Sept. 11-14.

  • Sunnyslope County Water District, 3570 Airline Highway, Hollister
  • CA National Guard Armory at the Hollister Municipal Airport (near Elk’s Lodge), Astro Drive, Hollister
  • San Juan Bautista Community Center, 10 San Jose Street
  • Elections Office, 481 Fifth Street, Hollister 


On Aug. 20 the San Benito County Elections Office had a Facebook live session to answer questions about the recall. 


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Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He also was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily.