The California Recall Election Is Today. Here’s What You Need to Know.

How to follow the results.,


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ImageCalifornians cast their ballots in the recall election in Los Angeles on Monday.
Californians cast their ballots in the recall election in Los Angeles on Monday.Credit…Allison Zaucha for The New York Times

Ready or not, here come the election results.

The polls close this evening in the recall vote to decide whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should keep his job.

Already, there are some clues as to how things may play out: Nearly 40 percent of ballots were in as of Monday evening, with votes from registered Democrats outnumbering votes from Republicans by more than two to one. And polling increasingly suggests that Newsom won’t be kicked out of office.

But, as we all know, there are no guarantees.

So as Newsom’s campaign entered its final hours on Monday, he made a last pitch to voters with the help of President Biden.

At a rally in Long Beach last night, Newsom warned that Californians “may have defeated Donald Trump, but we have not defeated Trumpism.”

Biden went one step further and called Larry Elder, a conservative talk radio host and the front-runner challenging Newsom, “the clone of Donald Trump.”

“Can you imagine him being governor of this state?” Biden asked a crowd of hundreds gathered in the quad at Long Beach City College. “We can’t let that happen.”

Californians voting in this election are answering just two questions: Should Newsom be recalled from office? And if so, who should replace him?

Newsom needs to secure more than 50 percent of the vote in the first question to retain his job.

If he doesn’t, then the second question — where Elder’s name and 45 others’ appear — comes into play. Whoever gets the most votes there would become the next governor.


President Biden met with Gov. Gavin Newsom in Sacramento on Monday. Larry Elder campaigning in Monterey Park on Monday.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times; Alex Welsh for The New York Times

When we will know who won

The polls close here at 8 p.m., and it will take a while to count the ballots cast in person. But county workers have been opening and processing early ballots for weeks, and those results could be available almost immediately.

If the race is not super tight, as the polls are currently predicting, the math could be clear a few hours after 8 p.m., my colleague Shawn Hubler reports.

The first numbers released tomorrow will probably show Newsom winning in a landslide, though that gap will most likely narrow — but not fully close — as the night goes on, experts say.

Republicans are more likely to vote in person than Democrats, so the votes that come in later will be skewed against Newsom while the mail-in ballots that are counted first will be disproportionately from Democrats.

If the early results show a close race, then that could mean there is a wave of Democrats who voted against Newsom that polling has missed, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. In that case, the final election results could take longer to determine, with the tallies possibly stretching on for weeks.

Follow our results tracker and Election Day updates at

For more:


Christine Martinez said she contributed ideas to Pinterest in its early days that were “core organizing concepts.”Credit…Marissa Leshnov for The New York Times


  • Vaccine exemptions: Thousands of San Diego County medical providers are requesting vaccine exemptions, with most citing religious reasons, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.

  • Earthquake: A magnitude-3.6 earthquake was reported Monday morning near Thousand Oaks, reports The Ventura County Star.


  • Sequoia fires: Three fires that ignited on Thursday from lightning strikes are burning in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. A separate fire, the Windy fire, has burned into the adjoining Sequoia National Forest and reached the Giant Sequoia National Monument, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • Air quality warning: San Joaquin Valley officials issued an air quality warning on Monday because of smoke from nearby fires, according to The Bakersfield Californian.


  • In-person teaching: San Francisco County has a 79 percent vaccination rate for those 12 years and up, and so far there have been no school outbreaks since classes resumed on Aug. 16. Read more from The Times.

  • Ski resort name deemed offensive: The popular Squaw Valley Ski Resort was renamed to Palisades Tahoe on Monday, reports The Associated Press.

  • Hopkins fire: Residents of Calpella, a town in Mendocino County, were forced to flee the Hopkins fire on Sunday. Multiple structures were burned, according to The Associated Press.

  • SF Weekly: San Francisco’s last alt-weekly is taking an “indefinite hiatus,” reports SFist.


Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times

This vegetarian main course inspired by Indian dal features lentils cooked with an aromatic blend of Thai spices and then simmered in coconut milk.


Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Today’s California travel tip comes from Chris Boerner, a reader who lives in Grand Junction, Colo.

Chris recommends Redwood National and State Parks’ Fern Canyon, which he calls “a magical place.”

Tell us about your favorite spots to visit in California. Email your suggestions to We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

In “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” the new Marvel movie, our hero throws fists at his attackers on a Muni bus in San Francisco.

Sure, it’s a gripping action sequence, but it’s also educational: The scenes of Muni zipping through Chinatown have resurfaced a key piece of a history within San Francisco’s Chinese community, reports KQED.

As Chinese immigration rose in San Francisco in the 1960s and ’70s, Chinese communities began to expand throughout the city, though Chinatown remained a social and political hub.

So the Chinese American community started pushing for transportation lines that would connect other neighborhoods to Chinatown so they could stay in touch with their heritage.

And that’s where the Muni bus lines featured in “Shang-Chi” come in — they were fought for by Chinese American transportation advocacy “superheroes.”

Read the full story from KQED.

P.S.: You can catch a glimpse of the Muni fight in the movie’s official trailer.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: ____ Vuong, author of “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” (5 letters).

Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at

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