All About the Newsom Recall

All About the Newsom Recall

What is a Recall?

Only 19 states (California being one) allow recalls, in which there is an election held to allow state citizens to vote on whether to remove a sitting official, like the governor, from office and elect who should replace the official should they be removed from office on the same ballot.

History of the Recall in California

The current effort to recall Gavin Newsom is the sixth, most successful, effort since he took office in 2019. Since 1960, every single California governor has faced a recall effort. So far, the only other recall effort to successfully trigger an election was a recall effort in 2003, that resulted in the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor. (Image: Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003 after winning the recall election, with his then-wife Maria Shriver.)

Steps of a Recall

In order to trigger a recall Newsom, supporters and petitioners have gathered signatures supporting the recall from more than 12 percent of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election, passing the minimum 12 percent threshold needed for the election. 

After enough signatures were obtained, the California Secretary verified the signatures and petitions, and currently, the Lieutenant Governor, Eleni Kounalakis, is in the process of scheduling the recall election within 60 to 80 days of when the petition was verified.

Election Day

Prior to the recall election date, whenever it will be set by the discretion of the Lieutenant Governor, by state law, every Californian registered to vote will be mailed a ballot for the recall election. There will be two questions on the ballot in the election.

Question 1: Shall GAVIN NEWSOM be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor? Mark “yes” or “no.”

Question 2: Candidates to succeed GAVIN NEWSOM as Governor if he is recalled. Vote for one candidate from the list below.

If a majority of the voters vote “No” on the first question, Governor Newsom will not be removed from office. 

If a majority of voters vote “Yes” on the first question, then whichever candidate in the second question/section of the ballot receives the most votes will win the election, finish the rest of Newsom’s term in office (which ends in 2023).

(Image: Recall ballot in 2003 Gubernatorial recall election.)

Notable Declared Candidates & Polling


– Kevin Faulconer (Former Mayor of San
– Caitlyn Jenner (Reality show
– John Cox (Republican nominee for
Governor in 2018)


No high profile Democrats have yet declared candidacies to replace Newsom if he is recalled, however, the former Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, has expressed interest.

Image: Governor Gavin Newsom pictures on the left, and reality television personality Caitlyn Jenner on the right.

Page Editors: Ryan Abbasi & Ben Wynd