Live Updates: California recall election

Polls are open in California, where voters are casting ballots on whether or not to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. Voters are being asked to decide if they want to cut his term short, and if yes, they can choose one of the 46 contenders challenging him.

CBS News Elections and Surveys Director Anthony Salvanto will provide polling results and analysis from the CBS News Decision Desk across all platforms as the votes come in. CBS News’ exit polls will show what was on voters’ minds as they cast their ballots. 

CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano will lead special coverage on an extended two-hour edition of RED AND BLUE (5:00-7:00 PM, ET) on CBSN with Ed O’Keefe. Coverage will continue throughout the evening when polls close and beyond. CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett will be reporting live from Sacramento. CBSN will also simulcast coverage from CBS-owned stations in Los Angeles (KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV), San Francisco (KPIX-TV) and Sacramento (KOVR-TV) on Monday evening as results come in. 

While polls in the summer indicated a close race, a Berkeley IGS poll released Friday showed the “no” vote leading the “yes” vote 60.1%-38.5% among likely voters. Newsom’s team is confident he’ll prevail in the recall attempt, and privately, Republican campaigns in the state concede their internal polling indicates the recall will fail. 

Californians Head To The Polls To Vote In Recall Election
A voter drops his ballot for the California recall election into a drop box at the Santa Clara County registrar of voters office on September 14, 2021 in San Jose, California. Californians are heading to the polls today to vote in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

On Monday, President Biden visited the state to tour wildfire damage with Newsom and then campaign with him. 

“The governor has led his state with poise and strong leadership,” Mr. Biden said while also referring to Newsom as an “innovator” for long-term climate solutions.  

The president is eager to campaign for Newsom because “we’re going to have the back of people who’ve had our back,” a senior White House aide said.

Ballots were mailed to voters in mid-August. Voters may either mail their ballot or drop it off in-person to a secure ballot drop box, to a voting location, or to their county elections office by 8 p.m. on September 14. One or more early voting locations will be available in all counties for at least four days beginning the Saturday before September 14, and polls will be open throughout the state from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time on September 14, according to the California Secretary of State.

There will be two questions on the ballot. The first asks if Newsom should be recalled, while the second question requires voters to choose a candidate from a list of 46 people challenging him. His name does not appear on that list. If more than 50% of voters choose to recall him, the candidate with the most votes on the second question will become governor. Given the large number of candidates running, it’s conceivable that one of the contenders could win with 25% or less of the vote. 

Republican Larry Elder, once seen as a longshot candidate, has become the frontrunner against Newsom.