California recall election

When Will We Know The Outcome of the California Recall Election?

After the Election Night votes are tallied, the Registrar of Voters Office expects the next release of unofficial results to come after 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16

San Diego County ballot registrar of voters
NBC 7

Update: Gov. Gavin Newsom quickly took a strong lead in the polls Tuesday night, leading the polling teams of several media outlets, including NBC News and the Associated Press to call the recall effort failed. More here.

The polls in the California Gubernatorial Recall Election close at 8 p.m. Tuesday. So, we should know the results shortly after, right?

The San Diego Registrar of Voters says not so fast, literally.

"Counting ballots takes time, and that includes for a special election such as the Sept. 14 California Gubernatorial Recall Election," the county said.

While the first results from the election will come through shortly after 8 p.m., it will mostly include mail ballots and poll ballots received before Election Day. So, it won't give a complete picture of the standings and will be considered "unofficial."

The same thing is true in counties across California.

Results will continue to trickle in throughout the night as the county tallies results from ballots cast at polls on Election Day. Remember, there are 221 voting locations across the county, plus the Registrar of Voters office itself; so this will take some time.

The Registrar's Office says it could be past midnight before all the poll ballots are tallied. Still, these results are unofficial.

"The counting of ballots does not end on election night," the Registrar's Office says.

There are mail ballots that must be tallied -- as long as they are postmarked by Sept. 14 and arrive at the Registrar's Office within 7 days of the election.

Live Election Results

Note: For Governor Gavin Newsom to be removed, a majority “yes” vote is needed. If that happens, the candidate with the most votes will succeed him.
Source: California Secretary of State

Then, there are provisional ballots from people who registered to vote after the Aug. 30 registration deadline. These ballots still count but must be verified, so the process takes a little longer, the Registrar's Office says.

After the Election Night votes are tallied, the Registrar of Voters Office expects the next release of unofficial results to come after 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Votes will continue to be tallied in San Diego County for days, possibly weeks until the Registrar's Office is sure every legitimate vote is counted.

The Registrar 30 days after Election Day to finish this process and the Registrar's Office says they plan "to use every minute of the certification period to make sure the results are accurate."

The election will be certified by the California Secretary of State on Oct. 22, 2021.

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