The final day to vote in California’s recall election has officially begun as voters make their way to the polls on Tuesday to recall Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Although voters who decided to vote-by-mail had the opportunity to cast their ballots before election day, voters planning to vote in-person have until polls close at 8:00 p.m. PT.
Because of new election rules adopted in 2020, the final election results will reportedly be certified on Oct. 22 due to the possibility of mail-in-ballots getting delivered days after election day.
For this reason, the results will be reported in three “waves,” according to Capitol Public Radio.
The first wave of results is expected to arrive after the polls close on Tuesday, which will mostly consist of millions of vote-by-mail ballots that are likely to “favor Newsom.”
“We definitely are seeing that in this early vote, this 2 to 1 Democratic over Republican advantage,” said Paul Mitchell, whose polling firm Political Data Intelligence is keeping track of all returned ballots.
The second wave of results is set to arrive later on election night and will extend into Wednesday morning as county election offices announce the results of in-person ballots cast on election day. These results are expected to favor recall supporters.
The final wave of results is scheduled to arrive in the days after the election. These votes are likely to come from voters who mailed in their ballots right before election day, according to Alexander of the California Voter Foundation.
All mail-in-ballots that arrive up to seven days after election day will be counted as long as they are postmarked no later than Sept. 14, state law specifies.
County election officials are obligated to verify election results 30 days after election day and the Secretary of State’s Office will certify the results eight days later.
If Newsom is successfully recalled, a new governor, chosen by recall voters, will be sworn into office on Oct. 22. This person will remain governor until the next California gubernatorial election set to take place in November 2022 where they will face new challengers.