California Recall Updates: Newsom Defeats Recall, Says Democracy Is Not A Football

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday defeated the recall effort against him, a contest the Democratic governor crafted as part of a national battle for his party’s values in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and lingering threats from “Trumpism.”

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses reporters after beating back the recall that aimed to remove him from office at the John L. Burton California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses a crowd in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday night, Sept.14, 2021. Newsom defeated an attempt to oust him from office, overcoming Republican criticism of COVID-19 restrictions that shuttered schools and businesses. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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A group of pro-recall voters gather to watch early results of the California Recall election during an election party at the Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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Gov. Gavin Newsom meets with students at Melrose Leadership Academy, a TK-8 school in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, one day after defeating a Republican-led recall effort. (AP Photo/Nick Otto)
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Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder speaks to supporters after losing the California gubernatorial recall election Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Costa Mesa, Calif. The rare, late-summer election, which challenged California Governor Gavin Newsom, has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
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Kevin Faulconer, former San Diego mayor and Republican candidate for governor of California, speaks alongside his wife, Katherine Faulconer, left, at his campaign headquarters after polls closed in the recall election Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in San Diego. Faulconer said his failed campaign to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom was only his first round and that he would discuss next steps with family and supporters, but his drubbing in the recall contest casts serious doubt on the appeal of a moderate Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic state. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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Kevin Faulconer, former San Diego mayor and Republican candidate for governor of California, greets supporters during a news conference after polls closed in the recall election Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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A replace and recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom is seen as guests arrive for an election party at the Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. A small group of pro-recall voters gathered at the bar and eatery to watch the results come in. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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People wait in line outside a vote center to cast their ballots on Sept. 14, 2021, in Huntington Beach, Calif.
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Errol Webber, a supporter of Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder, holds up a cutout of Elder's face at a gathering as polls close for the California gubernatorial recall election Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Costa Mesa, Calif. The rare, late-summer election, which challenged California Governor Gavin Newsom, has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
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Two voters cast their ballots at a vote center, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Huntington Beach, Calif.
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A voter casts her ballot at a vote center, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Huntington Beach, Calif.
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People wait in line to vote outside a vote center on Sept. 14, 2021, in Huntington Beach, Calif.
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People wait in line outside a vote center to cast their ballots on Sept. 14, 2021, in Huntington Beach, Calif.
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A voter stands next to an arrow pointing toward a vote center on Sept. 14, 2021, in Huntington Beach, Calif.
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Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, of Rocklin, a Republican candidate for governor in the Sept. 14 recall election, left talks to Haley Huang, 8, during a campaign stop outside of Manual Arts High School on Sept. 13, 2021, in Los Angeles.
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Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder visits Philippe The Original Deli during a campaign for the California gubernatorial recall election on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Los Angeles.
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Amy Nguyen drops her recall ballot into the voting box at the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters office in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom gestures next to his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, foreground, and their daughter, Brooklynn, bottom, after speaking to volunteers in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.
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Michael Herrera, 56, poses with a "I Voted" sticker after he casting a ballot for the California recall election at a vote center at Union Station, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Los Angeles.
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Karen Brown, 60, leaves with her dog Rosco, after she casting a ballot for the California recall election at a vote center at Union Station, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Los Angeles.
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A voter casts a ballot for the California recall election at a vote center at Union Station, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Los Angeles.
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Voters cast their ballots for the California gubernatorial recall election at a vote center set up in Los Angeles Union Station, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Los Angeles.
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Volunteers put up signs to Vote No on recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, gestures next to his wife, first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and their daughter, Brooklynn, before speaking to volunteers in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. The recall election that could remove California Democratic Gov. Newsom is coming to an end. Voting concludes Tuesday in the rare, late-summer election that has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, greets supporters after speaking to volunteers in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. The recall election that could remove California Democratic Gov. Newsom is coming to an end. Voting concludes Tuesday in the rare, late-summer election that has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to volunteers in San Francisco, Tuesday
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Voters cast their ballots at a vote center Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in La Habra, Calif. With Gov. Gavin Newsom's fate at stake, Californians on Tuesday cast the last of the ballots that will decide whether he continues to lead them or if the nation's most populous state veers in a more conservative direction amid anger over his actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Voters cast their ballots at a vote center Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in La Habra, Calif. With Gov. Gavin Newsom's fate at stake, Californians on Tuesday cast the last of the ballots that will decide whether he continues to lead them or if the nation's most populous state veers in a more conservative direction amid anger over his actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Gerri Kanelos inspects a ballot for damage before they are sent to be tabulated at the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Office in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Tuesday is last day for California voters to cast their ballots in the recall election that could remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a rally against the California gubernatorial recall election on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Sun Valley, Calif.
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A voter pauses for photos while wearing a "I Voted" sticker with a message written on a small piece of paper that opposes California Gov. Gavin Newsom outside a vote center Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in La Habra, Calif. With Gov. Gavin Newsom's fate at stake, Californians on Tuesday cast the last of the ballots that will decide whether he continues to lead them or if the nation's most populous state veers in a more conservative direction amid anger over his actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Ana Claribel Salazar, 69, casts a ballot at a vote center set up at the Lincoln Park Senior Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. The recall election that could remove California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is coming to an end. Voting concludes Tuesday in the rare, late-summer election that has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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Ana Claribel Salazar, 69, casts a ballot at a vote center set up at the Lincoln Park Senior Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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Voters arrive to cast their ballots at the Lincoln Park Senior Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. The recall election that could remove California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is coming to an end. Voting concludes Tuesday in the rare, late-summer election that has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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A voter leaves after casting her ballot at the Lincoln Park Senior Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. The recall election that could remove California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is coming to an end. Voting concludes Tuesday in the rare, late-summer election that has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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Voters wait in line to cast their ballots for the California gubernatorial recall election at a vote center set up in the Beverly Hills City Hall, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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Voters wait in line to cast their ballots for the California gubernatorial recall election at a vote center set up in the Beverly Hills City Hall, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom, second from left, and his wife Jennifer Siebel wave to supporters at a rally against the California gubernatorial recall election on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Sun Valley, Calif.
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Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder argues with a TV reporter during an interview after visiting Philippe The Original Deli during a campaign for the California gubernatorial recall election on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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People listen during a meeting of volunteers to get out the vote by supporters of the effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom at the San Diego Republican Party Headquarters, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in San Diego. Voting concludes Tuesday in California's recall election.
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Supporters cheer California Gov. Gavin Newsom as he arrives at a rally ahead of the California gubernatorial recall election Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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President Joe Biden, right, speaks at a rally to support California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, ahead of the California gubernatorial recall election Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Newsom addressed the state less than an hour after polls closed. "Thank you for rejecting this recall," he said. "Tonight I'm humbled, grateful but resolved, in the spirit of my political hero, Robert Kennedy, to make more gentle the life of this world."

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He referred to the divides splitting the state and the country. "We have so much more in common as a state and a nation than we give ourselves credit for," he said. 

"One thing that's universal, everybody wants to be respected. Everyone wants to feel some connection to one another.  We all certainly in this pandemic want to feel safe, protected. Those are universal values." 

Newsom challenged former President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that the California election was rigged, saying: "democracy is not a football. You don't throw it around. It's more like, I don't know, an antique vase. You can drop it, smash it in a million different pieces. And that's what we're capable of doing, if we don't stand up to meet the moment and push back."

Gavin Newsom holding a sign: California Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses reporters after beating back the recall that aimed to remove him from office at the John L. Burton California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) © Rich Pedroncelli, AP California Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses reporters after beating back the recall that aimed to remove him from office at the John L. Burton California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Tonight, California voted NO on the recall and YES to…

Science.

Women’s rights.

Immigrant rights.

The minimum wage.

The environment.

Our future.

We rejected cynicism and bigotry and chose hope and progress.

Thank you, California.

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 15, 2021

Newsom indicated he would take the results as an endorsement of the tack he has taken on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“'No' is not the only thing that was expressed tonight," Newsom said. “I want to focus on what we said ‘yes' to as a state: We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to ending this pandemic.”

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Southern California voters reject recall

Voters in Los Angeles County,  Riverside County, Orange County, San Diego County, San Bernardino County and Imperial County all roundly rejected the recall, partial results released Tuesday night showed. 

Los Angeles County voters overwhelmingly rejected the recall, with 76.32% voting no and just 23.68% voting yes. 

In San Diego, "no" votes led with 60.27%, while 39.73% of voters were in favor of the recall.

In Orange County, "no" votes were leading with 56.07%, while 43.93% of voters were in support of the recall.

In San Bernardino County, 57.1% of voters said no, while 42.9% said yes. Margins were slightly narrower in Riverside, where no's led 54.96% to 45.04%.

In sparsely populated Imperial County, 62.7% of voters rejected the recall, while 37.3% voted for it.

— Julie Makinen

Associated Press projects Newsom to defeat the recall

The Associated Press projected that the attempt to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom has failed, meaning the first-term Democrat will remain in office. 

The projection came shortly after several other news outlets projected Newsom as the winner in the race. 

While the AP does not plan to project a winner in the replacement candidate question, conservative talk show host Larry Elder was leading the second-place candidate by more than 1 million votes in the latest round of statewide results. 

— Tom Coulter

CNN, NBC, CBS News project Newsom the winner in recall election

Gov. Gavin Newsom has defeated the attempt to recall him, according to projections by CBS News, NBC News and CNN.

The latest statewide results show Newsom with a comfortable lead in the recall election: 67.9% of voters have opted so far to keep the first-term Democrat in office in the latest round of statewide results.

In total, the results reflect about 7.4 million votes — a substantial share of the more than 9 million ballots that had been returned as of Tuesday.

The results also showed Republican Larry Elder comfortably leading the group of replacement candidates, leading the second-place candidate, Democrat Kevin Paffrath, by more than a million votes.

Initial results show Newsom with a comfortable lead

An initial round of statewide results released shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. shows Gov. Gavin Newsom leading comfortably in the effort to remove him from office, with about 72.2% of voters opposing the recall.

The first round of results included about 4.1 million ballots — a substantial share of the more than 9 million votes that had been returned as of Tuesday.

The results also showed Republican Larry Elder comfortably leading the group of replacement candidates, with 37.7% of the vote. Democrat Kevin Paffrath and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer were the closest trailing candidates, both with between 10% and 15% of the vote.

— Tom Coulter

Republicans, Democrats casting ballots at  same rate, a blow to recall supporters 

As polls close for the California Governor Recall Election, election information provider Political Data estimated voters had cast 9.1 million ballots cast in the recall election.

According to information from Political Data, 47% (4.9 million ballots) of Democrats had so far cast their votes while 48% (2.5 million) of Republicans have returned ballots.

To have any shot to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, election observers said Democratic voter turnout would have to be low, and Republican turnout high. Neither is happening in early results.

Political Data found the San Francisco Bay Area had the highest turnout so far in the election at above 50% In the 2018 gubernatorial election, Newsom ran up insurmountable leads with 60% to 70% in the Bay Area. Political Data shows turnout of about 35% in the San Joaquin Valley and the North State, regions that strongly backed the recall election during signature gatherings.

Recall supporters would need to pile up very large margins in the Central Valley to have a shot at winning, election observers say.

— James Ward

How are the candidates spending election night?

Gov. Gavin Newsom won't be holding a party with supporters as ballots are counted tonight. He plans to spend the evening with family in Sacramento watching the results, his spokesman Nathan Click told reporters.

Some of the Republican candidates had made appearances across the state and plan events tonight.

Conservative radio host Larry Elder, who has been consistently leading polls among candidates vying to replace Newsom, is scheduled to hold a watch party at a Hilton hotel in Costa Mesa, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is similarly planning a watch party for supporters at his headquarters in San Diego.

Businessman John Cox completed his bus tour of the state in Southern California earlier Tuesday and planned to watch the election results privately with family and friends in Rancho Santa Fe, about 25 miles north of San Diego.

— Christal Hayes, USA Today

Legislators to soon begin talks on possible recall reforms

The election isn’t over yet, but California lawmakers are already discussing possible changes to the state’s recall process, which has come under scrutiny in recent months.

State Sen. Steve Glazer, a Democrat from Northern California, said in a tweet Tuesday night that he and a legislative colleague will be discussing possible reforms to the system in a joint statement Wednesday.

“Irrespective of the preliminary recall election results tonight, Assembly Elections chair @Marc_Berman and I as chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee will release a joint statement tomorrow morning discussing our plans to fix a broken recall system,” Glazer said.

California’s recall process has been heavily scrutinized in recent weeks, with a pair of UC Berkeley professors even arguing that its current setup is unconstitutional in a recent New York Times essay.

Still, polling indicates that most California voters want to keep the process in place. A recent UC Berkeley poll found three-quarters of voters believe the recall process is a good thing overall.

But there appears to be a substantial appetite for some types of reform. In the same poll, 69% of respondents said they would support a rule change so that if no candidate receives a majority of the vote, and the officeholder is voted out of office, a runoff election would be held between the top two finishers.

The poll also found that 55% of voters support the idea of increasing the number of signatures required  for a recall election to qualify for the ballot from the current 12% threshold of votes cast in the last statewide election to 25%. But support for that proposal had a wide partisan split: 77% of Democrats were on board, compared to just 18% of Republicans.

— Tom Coulter

Exit poll: COVID-19 the top issue for California voters

An exit poll released Tuesday afternoon found COVID-19 to be the top issue for California voters who cast their ballots on Election Day.

About a third of voters listed COVID-19 as their top issue in the poll, which was conducted by Edison Research for several national media outlets.

Homelessness came in second in the poll, with just over one-fifth of respondents naming it as their top concern. Meanwhile, about one in six respondents said the economy and wildfires, respectively, and slightly under one-tenth listed crime as their top issue.

Some concerns were split along partisan lines: More than four in 10 Democrats said COVID-19 was their top issue, compared to about one-fifth of Republicans. Conversely, Republican voters were more than three times as likely as Democrats to list the economy as their top issue.

Voters offered mixed reactions to the pandemic’s current trajectory in California, with about four in 10 saying the situation is improving, three in 10 saying that it remains about the same, and just under one-quarter saying that it's getting worse.

The findings largely align with recent polling regarding voters' top priorities. In a recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California, COVID-19 again topped the list of issues important to the state’s voters.

Most voters have been on board with Newsom’s response to the pandemic: In that PPIC poll, 60% of respondents approved of how the governor has handled the pandemic.

With those polls in mind, Newsom and his allies have focused on his COVID-19 policies in recent messaging to voters. For example, an anti-recall ad that began airing in mid-August framed the choice between Newsom and his challengers as “a matter of life and death” amid the ongoing pandemic.

— Tom Coulter

L.A. County poll worker removed for wearing 'Where's Hunter?' shirt, Trump hat on duty

A poll worker in West Hollywood was relieved of his duties for wearing a Trump 2020 hat and a “Where’s Hunter?” shirt, a reference to President Joe Biden’s son who has become a frequent target of conservative criticism.

The Los Angeles County Registrar’s office confirmed that the man had been removed from his post on Tuesday morning in response to several inquiries on social media.

The election worker was contacted and advised that the attire was inappropriate and unacceptable. Based on his response and reports that other workers had previously counseled him on this, he was released and is no longer working at the vote center.

— Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (@LACountyRRCC) September 14, 2021

“The election worker was contacted and advised that the attire was inappropriate and unacceptable,” the office said in a tweet. “Based on his response and reports that other workers had previously counseled him on this, he was released and is no longer working at the vote center.” The registrar did not identify the man.

While there are few requirements to be a poll worker in California, wearing clothing that promotes a particular party or issue is prohibited.

— Tom Coulter

Elder declares himself a political force, says he will run again no matter outcome of recall 

Conservative talk show host Larry Elder, the frontrunner in the polls to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom if he is recalled Tuesday, declared himself a "political force" in California in an interview on Fresno's conservative radio station KMJ580.

"I'm not going to leave the stage," Elder said if the recall was unsuccessful.

If Newsom is retained on Tuesday, he will be up for re-election in November 2022.

Are we done with this radio talk show host campaign-as-a-PR-stunt thing yet? JFC this guy Elder delivers ammo to Newsom and the Dems faster than a fleet of C17’s heading out of Afghanistan.

— Ron Nehring (@RonNehring) September 7, 2021

Some political pundits argue that Elder's controversial views on the minimum wage, women's rights, and vaccine mandates motivated Newsom's uninspired base to vote against the recall.

Some veteran Republican officials agreed.

“Are we done with this radio talk show host campaign-as-a-PR-stunt thing yet?” tweeted Ron Nehring, the former chair of the California Republican Party, who endorsed former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer in the recall. “This guy Elder delivers ammo to Newsom and the Dems faster than a fleet of C17’s heading out of Afghanistan.”

— James Ward

Pollster: Pro-recall in-person voting not 'overwhelming'

With just a few hours left until polls close across California, about 9.4 million ballots have been returned statewide, according to Political Data Inc., a research firm that provides voting analysis to party officials.

Democrats — who polls have shown are broadly opposed to the recall — have so far returned about twice as many ballots as Republican voters, meaning the effort to remove Newsom will largely depend on a huge wave of recall supporters voting in-person Tuesday.

The partisan split in how people vote has been evident so far. On Monday, Republicans in Orange County made up 65% of in-person voters, while they comprised just 38% of mail-in ballots there, according to Political Data Inc. vice president Paul Mitchell.

“This Republican lean of the in-person is pretty amazing, and shows the lingering effect of the by-mail voter fraud claims in 2020, and even this election cycle, that has caused a large distrust among a segment of this electorate,” Mitchell said in a blog post Tuesday. “But the share of votes that are from this in-person activity isn’t overwhelming.”

On top of that, the surge of GOP voters that some were anticipating to vote in person Tuesday had not fully materialized that morning, according to Mitchell.

“(What I’m) hearing even this AM from registrars and campaign staff suggests that we aren’t seeing a rush at the polls this morning, and maybe the endgame of this election took some of the excitement out of the race from those earlier most-enthusiastic pro-recall voters,” Mitchell said.

After some polls this summer showed a tight contest for Newsom, recent results have been more positive for the first-term Democrat. Polling averages from the data and politics website FiveThirtyEight show a margin of 15.8 points in favor of Newsom, with 57.3% opposed to the recall and 41.5% in favor of it – a far cry from the razor-thin margin of 0.2 points that the same average showed in early August.

With poll after poll recently showing Newsom in a comfortable position, some have begun to speculate on when a final result could be clear. Garry South, who worked with Gov. Gray Davis on his recall campaign in 2003, speculated on Twitter that the race will be called before 9 p.m.

“Not gonna be close,” South said.

— Tom Coulter

Newsom touts big early turnout among Democrats

Newsom, who is leading in polls, on Election Day, sounded an optimistic note on Tuesday after greeting volunteers in San Francisco hours before the polls closed.

“I’m feeling good, as long as we can get out that vote," Newsom said. 

A recall election has a less predictable dynamic than a regular election, he said.

“They designed this to catch us while we’re sleeping," Newsom said. "But I think you’ve seen in the early voting Democrats have been coming out strong, and I’m just humbled by that.”

— The Associated Press

KNP Complex Fire closes Three Rivers polling place

The Tulare County Elections Office says a voting place in the foothills community of Three Rivers in Tulare County can't be used because of dangers posed by the KNP Complex Fire.

The KNP Fire was ignited by a Sept. 9 blitz of lightning in Sequoia National Park and has surpassed a combined 1,000 acres.

Part of the community of Three Rivers is under evacuation orders. This area includes all points along both sides of Highway 198 between the intersection with North Fork Drive and the entrance to Sequoia National Park.

The Three Rivers Memorial Building had been a designated in-person voting place for the recall election. 

Three Rivers area voters who want to cast their votes in person were directed to the Exeter Memorial or the Woodlake Memorial polling places about 20 to 30 minutes away. 

— James Ward 

a sign in a parking lot: Three Rivers residents are asked to vote in Woodlake, Exeter or by mail. © Ron Holman Three Rivers residents are asked to vote in Woodlake, Exeter or by mail.

McCarthy: 'This is an opportunity to change the course'

U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Tuesday called the election an opportunity to change course in a state where Democrats hold a nearly 2-to-1 advantage among registered voters.

McCarthy cited homelessness, rising crime and the wildfire-driven closure of national parks in the state that he said was due to “forest mismanagement.”

“And you want to reward that?” McCarthy said of Newsom on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends. “This is an opportunity to change the course.”

— The Associated Press

President Biden: 'The eyes of the nation are on California'

Newsom ended his campaign with a final push late Monday from President Joe Biden, who warned that the outcome of the contest could shape the country’s direction on the pandemic, reproductive rights and the battle to slow climate change.

The Democrat who defeated Republican President Donald Trump less than a year ago said that the issues that defined the 2020 race had been resurrected in California, with potentially disastrous results if Newsom is removed in the election that ends Tuesday.

Speaking to hundreds of cheering supporters during a twilight rally in the coastal city of Long Beach, south of Los Angeles, Biden referred to the leading Republican candidate Larry Elder as “the clone of Donald Trump.”

“Can you imagine him being governor of this state?” Biden asked, as the crowd responded with shouts of “No, no!”

“You can’t let that happen. There is too much at stake,” the Democratic president said.

“The eyes of the nation are on California," he warned. The recall vote is "going to reverberate around the nation and ... around the world.”

— The Associated Press

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Republicans look to get out the vote

Republican challenger Larry Elder staged his capstone rally in nearby Orange County, where he urged his supporters to reach out to friends and neighbors and urge them to vote. The GOP will need a heroic election day turnout to catch Democrats who have been turning in mail ballots in larger numbers. Nearly 8 million Californians already have cast mail-in ballots.

“Make sure you have your friends vote, vote, vote, and try and get 10 more friends to vote and hit every call, make every call, knock on every door, we’re gonna win this thing if we turn out the vote,” Elder said from a hotel ballroom in Costa Mesa.

California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson called it “baffling and insulting” that Biden engaged in a political event when some Californians remain stuck in Afghanistan.

“It’s clear protecting those they were elected to serve comes second to politics,” she said in a statement.

— The Associated Press

Polls favor Newsom by comfortable margin

A pair of polls published last week favored California Gov. Gavin Newsom to survive the attempt to recall him, further buttressing his advantage as voters continue to return their ballots across the state.

The latest numbers suggest that the race may not be a nail-biter: 57.8% of respondents said they would vote to keep Newsom in office, while 41% said they would support the recall, according to a Suffolk University poll released Wednesday.

A majority of the 500 respondents also said that Newsom has been doing good work: 51.2% approved of his job as governor, compared to 38% who disapproved and 10.8% who were undecided.

“The no side is successfully building a cushion of ‘no’ votes to protect Governor Newsom from any late breaking surges leading up to election day,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.

“Newsom’s job approval of 51% is much higher than the 30% approval of ex-Governor Gray Davis when he was recalled and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and unlike 2003, Newsom benefits from massive numbers of early voters who are giving him what could be an insurmountable lead,” he added.

Current polls show talk show host Larry Elder is the leading candidate to replace Newsom if the governor is recalled from office. 

Tom Coulter, James Ward

What to watch for as results come in

To help you make sense of what’s bound to be one of the most unusual Election Days in California history (well, at least since 2003 when a movie star from Austria was swept into the governor's office via a recall election), the USA TODAY-Network-California has put together a guide to analyzing voting history from different parts of the state and what early results from those regions might mean for Newsom and the 46 candidates who hope to replace him in Sacramento on Election Night. Polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday. 

— James Ward

Results: Be ready to wait for it

If the races are close, it could take a while to determine the winners.

California historically takes weeks to count all the votes in statewide elections. In 2020, when nearly 18 million people cast ballots, a third of the votes in the presidential election were counted after Election Day. Two years earlier, more than 40% were counted after Election Day.

After the polls close, the first results released by most counties in California include the mail-in ballots and early-in person votes that officials were able to count before the polls closed. Then they start counting the votes cast on Election Day at local polling places, a process that can last through the night.

Mail ballots can arrive up to a week after Election Day and still be counted, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. This can take days or weeks. Mail ballots are generally counted in the order they are received, so the last ballots to be counted tend to be the last ones to arrive.

— The Associated Press

Results: Margins may shift

In 2020, Republicans were much less likely than Democrats to vote by mail in part because then-President Donald Trump repeatedly claimed — without evidence — that voting by mail was unsafe and susceptible to fraud.

If that trend continues, the results in the recall election could swing back and forth on election night, depending on which types of votes are being reported — mail ballots or in-person votes.

Most California voters cast their ballots by mail, a trend that accelerated during the pandemic as many voters were reluctant to enter crowded polling places on Election Day. About 87% of California voters cast their ballots by mail in last year’s presidential election.

For Tuesday’s election, all 22 million registered voters were sent a mail ballot.

Mail ballots take longer to process than in-person votes because election officials must remove the ballots from their envelopes, check the voter’s registration and make sure that the voter’s signature on the envelope matches the one on file. Then the votes can counted.

When voters cast ballots in person, officials perform security measures at the polling place so the votes can be counted soon after the polls close.

Voters who don’t want to vote by mail can vote in person, on Election Day or during the early voting period. Voters can also drop off mail ballots at local polling places, county election offices or in county drop boxes.

— The Associated Press

Calif. governor fights for job in recall election; what it means for rest of country > USA TODAY See more videos "> See more videos > > > > > What to watch next
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No confirmed evidence of widespread fraud

In recent days, Elder suggested the results of the recall election could be skewed by unspecified “shenanigans,” echoing Trump's baseless claims of voting fraud in his 2020 race with Biden.

There has been no confirmed evidence of widespread fraud. Elder's campaign website has linked to a “Stop CA Fraud" site where people could sign a petition demanding a special legislative session to investigate the “twisted results,” well before any results were announced. It states that “instances of undocumented ballots have been discovered prior to the election date of September 14.”

Asked to provide evidence of any suspicious voting activity, Elder campaign spokeswoman Ying Ma said that “we all want every proper vote to be counted” and “whatever shenanigans there are will not stand in the way of him becoming the next governor.”

— The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: California recall updates: Newsom defeats recall, says 'democracy is not a football'

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/california-recall-updates-newsom-defeats-recall-says-democracy-is-not-a-football/ar-AAOqLfq

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CBS News projects Newsom survived recall effort and will remain in office

Source:CBS News

CBS News projects Newsom survived recall effort and will remain in office