Governor Gavin Newsom won the Sept. 14 California gubernatorial recall election, securing his place in office for the remainder of his term. The recall was called after months of outrage from some Republican state residents regarding Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in California. 

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In order to enact a recall, citizens must gather signatures that amount to at least 12% of the votes cast in the previous election for that office. Based on data from the 2018 election, that number had to be at least 1,405,709.

Every California governor since 1960 has faced some sort of attempt at a recall — Newsom himself has faced five before this — but with the required number of signatures met, this was the fourth gubernatorial recall election in United States history.

Isla Vista  residents cast their ballots at UC Santa Barbara’s San Nicolas Hall, UCSB Sierra Madre Villages, the I.V. Community Center, Saint Michael’s University and the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative.

As of Sept. 21, 7,301,100 people voted against the recall across the state, while 4,317,983 people voted for the recall, according to the unofficial election results posted on Secretary of State of California Shirley Weber’s website. A total of 11,619,083 people voted.

Across Santa Barbara County, 68,185 people voted against the recall, and 36,713 people voted for the recall, according to the Santa Barbara County Election website. A total of 105,213 people voted across the county.

Newsom beat out several replacement candidates, including front-runner Republican candidate Larry Elder who received 26,953 votes across the county. Elder conceded on Tuesday night as election results began leaning in favor of Newsom.

Newsom’s current term ends in 2023, and a California gubernatorial election will occur in 2022.

A version of this article appeared on p. 7 of the Sept. 23, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at