The recall effort targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom has entered its final days as California voters across the state plan to head to the polls this Tuesday to determine whether or not the governor will be ousted.
While millions are expected to cast their vote in person Tuesday, many residents have already submitted their ballot in the mail. In Santa Barbara County, 96,380 ballots were returned as of Saturday, which accounts for about 40% of the total ballots sent out, according to the county’s Registrar of Voters Joseph Holland.
Mr. Holland said that about 52.5% of ballots turned in are from Democratic voters, 26.4% of ballots submitted are from Republican voters and about 17% were filed under no party preference.
Locally, the recall effort cost about $2.836 million, meaning that each ballot costs about $12, Mr. Holland said. These funds will be reimbursed by the state.
“Respect your $12 ballot — don’t waste taxpayer money,” Mr. Holland told the News-Press. He said he’s encouraging everyone to get out and vote ahead of Tuesday’s election night.
“Every election is important,” Mr. Holland said. “Get your ballot in, and we’re going to count it and we’ll see the results on Tuesday night.”
Results of the election are expected to be posted at 8 p.m. Tuesday night. These numbers, however, will likely be preliminary because ballots that are postmarked on Sept. 14 will be counted through the following week.
In the final days leading up to the recall election, members of the county’s Republican and Democratic parties are making the final push to encourage voters to submit their ballot and make their vote count.
Ed Fuller, a member of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party Central Committee, told the News-Press on Saturday that multiple members of the Republican party will be volunteering at polling places across the county on Tuesday. He said in the final days leading up to the election, he’s encouraging voters to vote “yes” to the recall to oust Gov. Newsom from his position of power.
Throughout the recall effort, multiple Republican leaders in the county have cited the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, his outing at the French Laundry restaurant during lockdown and the closure of schools as primary reasons to support the recall. Mr. Fuller cited these reasons, as well as Gov. Newsom’s alleged “mismanagement” of state water resources, as prominent reasons for his removal.
“The governor’s handling of COVID-19 was not in the best interest of citizens, and the decision to make him the person who tells us what to do as opposed to leaving it in our individual hands to protect ourselves and mitigate our own risk is what has led to the traumatic effects, including keeping kids out of school,” Mr. Fuller said.
“I think everybody has been dramatically affected by his decisions,” he added. “When somebody makes bad decisions we need to hold them responsible, and this is how we can hold him responsible.”
According to a UC Berkeley poll released Friday, Gov. Newsom is still favored to defeat the recall effort. The results of the poll revealed that 60.1% of likely voters oppose recalling Gov. Newsom, while 38.5% are in favor of recalling the governor. In order for Gov. Newsom to be recalled, more than 50% of voters would need to vote in favor of the recall.
In the final days leading up to the recall vote, various politicians, celebrities and public figures have voiced opposition to the recall effort, calling on voters to vote “no” on the ballot. Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris attended a campaign rally with Gov. Newsom in San Leandro to support the recall opposition effort.
Following the rally, Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, “This recall is a partisan attempt by Republicans to seize power and move CA backward on the progress we’ve made — from vaccines to economic opportunity to climate change.”
Locally, the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party plans to continue canvassing and phone banking from now through Tuesday, encourage voters to oppose the recall effort. Spencer Brandt, the organizing director for the county’s Democratic Party, said he is encouraging people to vote no on the ballot because “it is the only way to prevent a Trump-supporting Republican from becoming governor.”
“A Republican Governor of California would restrict access to women’s reproductive healthcare, attack immigrants’ rights, and erode protections for our environment,” Mr. Brandt told the News-Press in an email.
“The conservative Republicans who started this recall have been very clear about their strategy — they are counting on Democrats not voting in order to sneak in an anti-choice, anti-environment, Trump-supporting Republican into the Governor’s office,” he added. “There is too much at stake to sit this election out.”
Registered California voters can submit their ballots at one of the county’s ballot boxes, turn it in at a local polling location or submit their ballot in the mail. Ballots must be submitted or postmarked by Tuesday to be counted.
To find a polling place near you, visit countyofsb.org/care/elections/voting/upcoming/september-14-2021.sbc.