FAQs about the Recall Election

What is a Recall election? The 2021 California gubernatorial recall election is an upcoming special election on whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom scheduled to be held on September 14, 2021, with all voters set to begin receiving mail-in ballots on August 16, 2021. The recall election will be the fourth gubernatorial recall election ever held in the United States. This election is the result of one of at least 54 attempts in California's history to remove an elected governor from office and one of six efforts to remove Newsom. Read more. - Wikipedia When is the Recall election? The Recall election is August 16 - September 14. Every registered voter in California will start to receive their ballots in the mail during the 3rd or 4th week in August. All ballots will be put in the mail to voters on August 16 whether or not you are registered to vote-by-mail. Below are key dates and deadlines as it relates to this Recall election.

  • August 16, 2021: Deadline for counties to mail all registered voters a vote-by-mail ballot.

  • August 30, 2021: Deadline to register to vote. Registration forms must be postmarked by this date or delivered to a county elections office.

  • August 31, 2021: Filing deadline for write-in candidates.

  • September 4, 2021: Counties implementing the Voter's Choice Act will open early voting centers.

  • September 10, 2021: Early voting ends in Voter's Choice Act counties.

  • October 6, 2021: Deadline for officials to notify voters of signature mismatches.

  • October 12, 2021: Deadline for voters to verify signatures in the case of a mismatch.

  • October 22, 2021: Election certification date.

Why is there a Recall election? Commenters say. . . Republicans can’t win on the issues. “Right-wing activists, political consultants and Republican politicians have embraced a strategy that forsakes mainstream coalitions and instead caters to a small yet energetic minority of ideologues who seem to believe in victory by any means necessary.” Read More

Funded by right-wing extremists. “The recall is powered by a partisan, Republican coalition of national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists, anti-immigrant activists and Trump supporters. They want to overturn Governor Newsom’s election, and their victory could threaten California’s efforts to fight COVID-19.” Read More

Play for power. “Recalls have become a weapon of harassment and manipulation by Republicans. The GOP constitutes a minority in the state, where Democrats hold all major statewide offices and supermajorities in both legislative chambers, and where Joe Biden buried Donald Trump by more than 5 million votes last year.” Read More

I oppose Governor Newsom / support the recall from the Left / support the recall even though I’m not a Republican/anti-masker/anti-vaxxer. Why would I vote no on the recall to keep him in office?

We think we could all agree that a far-right extremist Governor taking over the largest state in the country and the fifth largest economy in the world would severely roll back any progress we’ve made.

“Recalling Governor Newsom will threaten any progressive gains made on the environment, immigration, criminal justice reform, and many other issues. Additionally, a Republican governor would make appointments in the case of any statewide office vacancies, including a Senate seat that would turn control of the Senate to Republicans. Republicans, white supremacists, and extremists are using the recall election as a platform to promote a racist, xenophobic, and anti-justice agenda. This will help them build their base ahead of the 2022 election — in the hopes that even a failed recall will set them up for wins up and down the ballot next year — as well as recenter their toxic ideals in the mainstream narrative about California and the nation. Their base will be highly motivated to turn out for this special election, which means a small minority of Californians may set the agenda for the whole state if a broader set of the electorate does not turn out and vote.” - from Courage California

Can Governor Newsom run as a replacement candidate? No, an elected official who is the target of a recall effort can’t run in the recall election.

The only way to support Governor Newsom in the upcoming election is to vote NO on the recall.

Is it really possible for Governor Newsom to be recalled? Should I be concerned?

Yes. We should all be concerned. If more than 50% of voters say "yes" to the first question on the ballot, Governor Newsom will be recalled. Then whichever candidate gets the most votes on the 2nd question will become governor – and there are no Democrats on the ballot who are competitive. Even though there are more registered Democratic voters than Republican voters in California, if Democrats don’t get out and vote NO on the recall, a Trump ally with only 30% of the votes could become governor. During the 2003 recall, Gray Davis was recalled and a Republican became governor without a majority vote.

How is this recall election different from a typical election of a candidate for public office? This recall election includes two distinct parts, so there are two different questions on the ballot: 1) Shall the Governor be recalled from office? 2) If the Governor is recalled, who shall replace the Governor? State law treats Part 1 as a ballot measure and Part 2 as a candidate election. If more than 50% of voters say "yes" to the first question, the candidate who gets the most votes in the 2nd question will become governor. The goal is to defeat Part 1 so that our democratically-elected Governor will NOT be recalled. Who pays for the Recall election? Instead of fighting COVID-19, Republicans are pulling a page from the Trump playbook and attacking Californians. In fact, a Republican recall will cost the state $100 million – money that could be used to help vaccinate our communities. The recall is powered by a partisan, coalition of well-known Republicans from outside of California like Newt Gingrich and Mick Hucabee. Devin Nunes, a die-hard Trump supporter who voted against certifying Biden’s election is also involved. This coalition includes, anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists, anti-immigrant activists and Trump supporters. The Republican National Committee has even cut the recall a $250,000 check. From the Los Angeles Times: “Allied with radical and extreme elements… includ[ing] groups promoting distrust of government, science and medicine; peddlers of QAnon doomsday conspiracies; “patriots” readying for battle and one organization allied with the far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys.” POLITICO reported that one of the co-founders and chief organizers of the recall suggested it would be a good idea to “microchip” immigrants, and anti-immigrant rhetoric has been central to recall organizers’ appeals to supporters. Since Republicans are unable to enact voter suppression in California, they are turning to election subversion by trying to oust Governor Newsom who was elected with 62% of the vote. If they succeed, this will put all of Governor Newsom’s accomplishments at risk and threaten California’s efforts to fight COVID-19.The state Department of Finance has estimated that this Recall election will cost taxpayers $276 million. I’m mad about the Governor’s COVID response. Why are public health measures so strict/not strict enough? (Stay-at-home orders, business restrictions, schools opening to fast/not fast enough, etc.) Governor Newsom has always tried to put the safety of Californians first using a science-based approach to decide what public health measures should be adopted including when to open schools in a way that puts our kids and teachers’ safety first. This has been a really difficult time for everyone. What we don’t like is that instead of ending the pandemic and getting our state back up and running, the national Republican groups & Trump allies behind the Recall are doing a partisan campaign to grab power. Where can I find a dropbox near me to drop off my ballot? You can find your nearest dropbox to you here.

What has Governor Newsom achieved? Environment

  • Ban future fracking.

  • Announce the end of fossil fuels; ending oil extraction by 2045 and a ban on new gas-powered cars by 2035.


  • Expanded Medi-Cal for undocumented residents.

  • Boosted Obamacare subsidies making roughly 1 million more Californians eligible for subsidies through the state insurance marketplace.


  • Enacted mild rent control by placing a ceiling on how much landlord can hike the rent.

  • Banned many evictions during COVID.

  • Turned hotels into housing temporarily helping more than 42,000 people off the street while curtailing the deadly virus.

  • Signed affordable housing legislation.


  • Ramped up vaccinations and turned a corner maintaining an inoculation rate higher than all but 12 states.

  • Suspending evictions.

  • Extended tax filing deadlines.

  • Ensured every voter would receive a mail-in-ballot.

  • Led in acquiring personal protective equipment.

  • Implements measures to encourage state employees and health care workers to get vaccinated.


  • Expanded early childhood education.

  • Free school meals for all.

  • Overhaul of charter school law.

  • All charter teachers will be required to hold a state teaching credential, and local school boards have broader discretion in approving or denying charters.

  • Charter schools will also be required to follow the same open-meeting laws as school districts.

  • Increased equitable access to high-speed internet.

  • Establishes the first two years of community college will be free.

  • Signed legislation making college more affordable and accessible.

Criminal Justice

  • Temporary end to the death penalty (statewide moratorium on executions).

  • Put new limit on police use of force.

  • Closed two prisons.

  • Ends the use of for profit private prisons.


  • Pushed the largest economic stimulus ever including direct payments to millions of Californians and billions more for housing, debt relief, pre-K, educations, and broadband delivering $237.5M to small businesses to support recovery.

  • Expand signature anti-poverty program - Earned Income Tax Credit - putting money into workers pockets including a supplemental boost for taxpayers with young children.

  • Extend rent and utility debt relief.

  • Made it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors offering more protection for workers.

  • Expands paid family leave.

What’s up with Governor Newsom’s Mask Mandates? On June 15th, Governor Newsom announced that the State of CA stopped requiring vaccinated people to wear masks in almost all circumstances. Those who have not yet been vaccinated should still wear masks when gathering indoors, but the Governor has said that he will "make guidance recommendations, but no mandates or restrictions on businesses large and small”. Local cities can make their own decisions about requiring masks, however. Some cities have announced new mask recommendations because of the spread of the COVID Delta variant.

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Every eligible voter in California will receive a mail-in ballot. You should receive your ballot the second or third week in August. Vote NO on question one. Leave question two blank. Example below. A