Early Voting in California Recall Shows Strong Turnout in Bay Area

Election officials say the high turnout for early voting in California’s recall election of Gavin Newsom on Sept. 14 is shaping up to be historic.

San Francisco Elections Chief John Arntz said few are showing up for in-person voting, but mail-in ballots are flooding in. So far, San Francisco has received 183,000 out of 500,000 sent out to registered voters.

“The turnout is 2 percentage points behind last November’s 2020 presidential election,” Arntz says, according to ABC 7 News, “that election was actually the biggest in the city’s history.”

The high voter turnout reflects strong sentiment on whether or not California Gov. Gavin Newsom will keep his job in Sacramento.

San Mateo County Assistant Elections Chief Jim Irizarry says, “There is a lot of activity in early voting, particularly on the vote by mail side of the equation.”

Election officials for San Mateo say they have received 167,000 mail-in ballots out of the 440,000 sent to registered voters.

However, despite the high mail-in turnout, some voters remain skeptical about how their vote will be counted, opting instead for in-person voting.

One such voter, Hernon Santos from Foster City, says he will be voting in person.

“I don’t know who at the post office receives it,” Santos said. “I have more confidence with the elections division here.”

But as far as the outcome of such an election, the outlook remains unclear. Some polls have Newsom winning by a landslide. On Thursday, Newsweek reported that Newsom could win the recall election, with 58% of likely voters voting “no” to a recall and 39 percent voting “yes,” that poll was conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California.

However, a FiveThirtyEight poll from Aug. 19 showed that 47.6% support a recall, with 48.8% in favor of Newsom staying in office. But as the trends from FiveThirtyEight indicate, more voters seem to be moving toward keeping Newsom in office as the election date moves closer.

According to The New York Times, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis decided to move the recall election date to Sept. 14 back in July. The recall election date, which was originally thought to be in November, was moved to Sept. 14 to give Newsom’s opposition less time to mobilize.

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