67.1% of state’s voters and 67.56% of SB County’s voters oppose recall, according to early reports
Early recall results, across the state and in Santa Barbara County, Tuesday night favored Gov. Gavin Newsom.
As of press time, 67.1% of voters opposed the recall of the Democratic governor, according to the California secretary of state’s office.
When the polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, results showed there were 97,821 mail-in ballots cast in Santa Barbara County. Of them, 67.56%, or 65,904 people, voted against the recall. Supporting the recall were 32.44% or 31,643 voters.
The 97,821 ballots equaled 41% of the total number of registered voters.
Joseph Holland, the county registrar of voters, told the News-Press that the 97,821 figure is the highest number that the elections office has ever tabulated by the start of an election night.
When the News-Press went to press, no numbers had been released for polling places.
Results, meanwhile, aren’t official until they’re certified, which is 29 days after the election.
Among the candidates seeking to replace Gov. Newsom, Larry Elder, a conservative Los Angeles talk radio host and a Republican, retained his frontrunner status in the state and in Santa Barbara County. In this county, he had 41.38% or 22,582 votes. The other votes were split among 45 other candidates.
The recall wasn’t the only thing on the ballot in Lompoc. There were 5,753 mail-in ballots cast on Measure Q2021. Of those, 76.84% were in favor of the taxation measure, but the total number of mail-in ballots only reflected 29.21% of registered voters. If passed, Measure Q2021 would impose a tiered or graduated tax on manufacturers and distributors in the Lompoc cannabis industry.
The bigger issue, though, was the recall election, which was essentially a referendum on Gov. Newsom’s COVID-19 policies.
Mr. Holland credited the mail-in ballots for boosting this year’s turnout. He said he hopes the final turnout will be 67% of the county’s register voters, which would be similar to the 2003 recall in which Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced Gov. Gray Davis.
“Statistics have shown that if you mail people a ballot, they’re more than likely to vote than if they’re required to go to a polling place,” Mr. Holland said.
He noted there were 54 polling places across the county and 30 drop boxes, where ballots could be dropped until 8 p.m. Tuesday. “There were plenty of opportunities for anyone to cast a ballot.”
Mr. Holland said mail-in ballots help to make an election more secure. He added that the mail-in ballots came in envelopes with the voter’s signature on the outside. He said the county elections staff doesn’t open those envelopes without first verifying the signatures.
“Beyond that, we have sheriff’s deputies helping to transport the ballots,” Mr. Holland said. “The elections building has cameras all around it. You have to have an electronic badge to get in, unless you’re an observer.
“Our election tabulation system is not hooked up to the internet, so there’s no possibility of anyone hacking it,” he said.