Home>Feature>Live Updates: The 2021 California Recall Election
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California State Capitol. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Live Updates: The 2021 California Recall Election

Updated results all throughout Election Day, past midnight

By Evan Symon, September 14, 2021 8:07 pm

Results for the 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall Election will be coming in over the next few hours, days and perhaps even weeks.

As the voting results start coming in after voting closes at 8 PM on the West Coast, California Globe has several political commentators weighing in, as well as from Katy and Evan.

The Recall Election ballot questions are:

Shall GAVIN NEWSOM be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?

    • Yes 3,244,922   36%
    • No  5,818,348   64%

66% of the vote in

Replacement Candidates

    • Larry Elder (R)             2,211,155  46%
    • John Cox (R)                 218,291  5%
    • Kevin Faulconer (R)   428,824  9%
    • Kevin Kiley (R)             152,696  3%
    • Caitlyn Jenner (R)        54,453  1%
    • Jenny Rae Le Roux (R)  10,338 0 %
    • Kevin Paffrath (D)        489,571  10%
    • Ted Gaines (R)               32,618  1%
    • Doug Ose (R)                  18,145  0% (Withdrew)
    • Brandon Ross (D)           278,140  6%

66% of the vote in


Recall Election Commentary

CA Globe contributor Thomas Buckley: A few thoughts on what the initial numbers could mean.

First, it is widely expected that the numbers that come in between 8 and 9 pm will reflect the tally of most of the vote-by-mail ballots.  It will not be all of them, as those that arrive at registrars’ offices today will most likely be counted later this week.

Exactly what percentage of this first block of votes will be of the total number cast is not exactly clear, but a safe assumption would be rather more than half (reports of heavy in-person turnout mean that it could be a smaller percentage than expected).

It is also assumed that the first vote bunch will tilt pro-Newsom, or NO on the recall.  If it does not, the governor is in for a long night; conversely if the NO vote shows a significant lead, it would spell trouble for the recall.

Second, an interesting number to watch will be the difference between the votes cast on the recall question and the number cast in the replacement question.  The larger the difference, the better for Newsom as that could indicate his message of “Vote No, Don’t Vote” worked.

Third, as Democrats make up about 50 percent of the electorate, Newsom almost certainly needs them to be at least 50 percent of the actual vote count considering the clear enthusiasm gap.

Finally, one county to watch may be Imperial, as its final vote percentages matched very closely the overall state vote in both Newsom’s 2018 victory and Biden’s 2020 win, possibly indicating bellweather status.

Or I could be completely wrong.

Katy Grimes:

Over 1/3 of the people who signed the California recall petition were not Republicans; they were Decline to State voters, Independents and Democrats.

This recall election is a wake up call to the state and its elected officials.

It’s 7:55 and the polls haven’t closed yet. We aren’t expecting any big announcement right away, but will update as soon as there are results posted.

As the Globe reported, the Globe was told by many long time California voters showed up at the polls only to be told “you already voted.” Some reports are saying this happened only in LA County. But voters in other counties contacted the Globe with similar experiences.

Evan Symon:

Results are coming in more and more at around 8:10 P.M. Anti-recall will likely be out to a big lead at first, so the real excitement will come from all the in-person voting, which tends to skew Republican. It’s past 8 now and really all we can do is wait and see.

Katy Grimes: Really surprised at this:

Thomas Buckley 8:30PM:

Initial counts across many counties indicate at least one part of Newsom’s message may have worked – his call to “Vote NO, Don’t Vote” seems to have been heeded by a surprisingly large percentage on the electorate, with vote total differences between question 1 and question 2 in the 35 percent range.

As to Imperial County, the mail-in vote shows NO a healthy lead, but it should be noted that turnout will be less than in either past two elections.

Katy Grimes 8:40PM:

KTLA is reporting on county results, without showing the percentages of votes in:




Katy Grimes: At 8:46 we received this email from the California Labor Federation:

Workers Powered the Campaign to Crush Harmful Recall 

Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski

“Tonight our shared values as Californians emerge not just intact, but stronger than ever. By a landslide, Californians rejected calls by right-wing Republicans to roll back decades of progress on worker protections, including the minimum wage, paid family leave, health and safety, and immigrant rights.

At 8:59pm, California media officially declared for Gov. Gavin Newsom:

Thomas Buckley 9:29PM: 

Judging by county reporting status, it seems as if nearly all of the mail-in vote (that arrived before today) statewide has been counted and tallied, with NO taking 67 percent and YES 33.  That number will tighten considerably, but if more than half of the total vote was mail-in, YES on the recall would have rack up big numbers to close the gap.

That being said, while the Newsom camp can be pleased that it appears to have held about 90 percent of state Democrats in line so far, it has to be troubling that he appears to be in, so far, a virtual tie – at best – amongst No Party Preference or “independent” voters.

The vast majority of the numbers to come in for the rest of the evening will be the in-person vote; mail ballots that arrived today, provisional, damaged, etc. ballots are typically not processed until later in the week.

Katy Grimes 9:30pm:

Evan Symon 9:52 P.M.

Both the Republicans and Democrats, especially the Gubernatorial races later this year and primaries next year, are going to be looking at this election as a blue print. Democrats know now to focus more on COVID-19 issues in blue states while Republicans know exactly how the Dems try and play the mandate issue in elections and who they can pick in primaries to go around the issue

Major support from known party members has also been shown to be a bigger help than usual, so we may see more of that in upcoming races thanks to the recall proving their worth once again.

Newsom gave his victory speech earlier invoking former Senator Bobby Kennedy. In particular, Newsom noted “But I’m reminded of something, I don’t know, a few decades ago, someone told me when describing a difficult and challenging moment. Said the ‘The world is too small, our time is too short, and our wisdom is too limited to win fleeting victories at other people’s expenses.’ And he went on to say ‘We must all triumph together.’ So in that spirit of recognizing and reconciling this moment and trying to understand what’s going on not just here in the state but all across the United States of America, I just want to say this; 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. Thank you all very much, and thank you to 40 million Americans, 40 million Californians, and thank you for rejecting this recall,” he said.

Only 60% have been reported so far, and if that gap get be closed a bit, the victory may not be as grand as they hoped. We’ll see.


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9 thoughts on “Live Updates: The 2021 California Recall Election

  1. Fox News called Newsom the winner at 8:30pm. YES HOW? I had to stand in line to vote this morning for almost twenty minutes. The last time that happened was Nov. 2000. Something is going on here and it is not good or honest Katy!

  2. My crazy thoughts. If they call it tonight, everyone goes to bed, cheating happens if necessary and we’re all crazy if we cry foul if it’s was called already?

  3. This is what happened in 2020, where the election was called by main media before we actually knew the real result, and then every reporting agency followed like sheep. In this case, the early voting is a different group than the later and in-person voting, so it seems like a statistical prediction is not valid; that we won’t know until more results are in. What am I missing?

  4. So they have 30 days to count all the ballots but the media declares for Newsom immediately after the polls close and Newsom gives his victory speech at 9pm.
    This is exactly what happens every election.
    Wait for the votes to be counted.
    A projection is not a result.

  5. There is not nearly enough fraud with this recall that will change the result, even if every single vote casted was a legit vote. The problem is with the populace…the people have spoken, and they are happy with what is happening in the state, and that is that. I have come to terms with the fact that I will be leaving here at retirement, and never coming back. But hey, at least everyone here will get to pick what gender they feel like being on a daily basis! Progress! And the homeless can literally sh*t on the sidewalk without a single thing happen to them, because Progress! And don’t forget about the lockdowns that are going to be coming back, because Progress and Science! Yeah!

  6. A little too early but it’s 36% right now. I think it might close the gap a little down to low 40’s since Republicans vote in person and some ballots are yet to be counted but huge disappointment.

    1. Update: At 36.6%. Turnout jumped to 48.3% for ballots turned in. Doesn’t look like it’ll reach the mid 40% or even 43%. ????

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