Still Time to Register to Vote in Recall Election

August 30 Deadline for Voter Registration

Voters casting their vote at the polling station on Cabrillo downtown Santa Barbara in 2020. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss (file)

In California’s history, 55 attempts have been made to recall a governor, and only two have qualified for the ballot. One of those is set for September 14 — to attempt to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. The first question on the ballot asks if the governor should be recalled. The second question presents 46 candidates should Newsom lose the first question.

Voters have until August 30 to register to vote in this historic election. As a whole, 22 million of California’s 24.8 million eligible voters were registered as of July 16 — 10.2 million as Democrats, 5.3 million as Republicans, and 5.1 million as No Party Preference.

In Santa Barbara County, 238,371 people were registered as of August 16 from among the 281,519 eligible to vote. Among them, Democrats numbered 111,605; Republicans made up 59,489; and 51,611 were Nonpartisan.

New voters can register online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov. Paper applications are also available at most post offices and motor vehicle department offices. As well, three Santa Barbara County Elections offices will be open during regular business hours (Mon.-Fri., roughly 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) and open during special hours on August 28 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to assist new voters in registering. Those locations are 4440-A Calle Real, Santa Barbara; 401 East Cypress Street, Room 102, Lompoc; and 511 East Lakeside Parkway, Suite 134, Santa Maria.


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Should a voter miss the August 30 deadline, conditional voter registration is available at the County Registrar of Voters and at polling places through Election Day, September 14. Those voters would cast provisional ballots that are only counted once their voter registration verification is completed.

However, County Elections czar Joe Holland advised registering early: “I highly recommend that voters register by the August 30 deadline,” he said. “It ensures that the voter has the opportunity to receive, review, and mark his or her ballot safely and securely at home. If a voter is unsure about their voter registration status or needs to change registration information like address, visit our website at sbcvote.com.”

The other governor recall took place in 2003 and pitted Democrat Gray Davis against a field of 163 candidates. The outcome ushered in the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who entered office with four million votes, or 48 percent of the field, but departed in 2011 with a 22 percent approval rating and a steep budget deficit.


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