What You Should Know about Recall Elections

July 06, 2021

There are a lot of things that make California unique. One of those is a direct democracy that gives the public the kind of power citizens in most states do not have over their state elected officials.

California is one of just 19 states that permits the recall of state officials. It is also one of 11 states that allows any registered voter to launch a recall campaign for any reason. Governor Gavin Newsom finds himself the target of a successful petition for recall, which means Californians can vote on whether or not he stays in office.

There have been 179 recall attempts since 1913. Only 10 have ever qualified for the ballot. Of those, just six succeeded. The most high-profile was the successful recall of Governor Gray Davis in 2003. He was succeeded by Arnold Schwarzenegger. There were also seven recall attempts against Schwarzenegger, but all failed to make the ballot.

Form Newsom

How does a recall work?

To get a recall election on the ballot, a petition must be signed by enough registered voters to equal 12% of the turnout for the last election for governor and include at least 1% of the last vote for the office in at least five counties. Those promoting the recall have 160 days to gather signatures.

The California secretary of state has to verify the signatures. Voters who signed the petition have 30 business days to change their minds. That deadline to reconsider passed June 8. The final number of adjusted signatures, at least 1,495,709, were due June 22. More than 1.7 million people signed the Newsom recall petition, so campaigning had started by Father’s Day.

If the signatures are all verified, state election officials have 30 days to determine a budget and then the state legislature has 30 days to review the budget. After that, the election date can be set.

Sing Newsom

Why a recall?

Nearly every recall effort in California has been politically motivated. Most people believe the recall of Gov. Newsom is related to the safety measures and lockdowns he put in place at the beginning of the pandemic, as well as the abundance of caution used in reopening the state. The initial effort to recall the governor started in February 2020, and according to media reports, the petitioners’ complaints include concerns about immigration policies, the death penalty, tax rates, and the high rates of homelessness.

Vote Newsom

How will the recall election work?

The election will be held on Tuesday, September 14. There will be a period of early and absentee voting. People will be able to vote in person or by mail. The ballot will consist of two questions:

  1. Do they want to recall Gov. Newsom? Yes or no.
  2. If you vote “yes,” who should replace him?

If more than 50% of voters vote “no,” Newsom remains governor. If not, more than 40 Republican and Independent candidates wishing to replace him have registered to appear on the ballot.

How can you participate? Make Sure Your Registration Is Current

AltaMed has digital resources so you can check your registration status, get election notifications and reminders, or find resources to help you register. These tools are available at myvotemyhealth.org/vote. They are convenient, safe, and secure.

You can contact the California Secretary of State or your county registrar’s office for more voting information by visiting:

Secretary of State – sos.ca.gov/elections or (916) 657-2166

Los Angeles County — lavote.net/home/voting-elections or (800) 815-2665

Orange County — ocvote.com or (714) 567-7600

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5 Reasons Why You Should Vote!

September 10, 2020

NOTE: It’s so important to understand what you are voting about. AltaMed has guides with information about the propositions on the upcoming ballot here and here. Voting is already underway, so read up, take notes, and be sure to vote early.

This year’s election goes beyond who will be president. Your vote is your voice n issues affecting housing, education, employment and healthcare.

Help make a difference in your community during this general election and join us in “My Vote, My Health” initiative. Have you registered to vote?

Here are just a few reasons why you should get registered and vote:

1. Elections have consequences.
kids in school

You have the power to decide on the quality of life you want for yourself and future generations. Voting is your chance to stand up for the issues you care about like public transportation, raising minimum wage, or funding local schools. This is your life: take the time to help decide what’s best.

2. Not voting is giving up your voice.
people at the polls

Elections are decided by the people who go out and vote. Take some time and learn about the measures and the candidates. If you don’t vote, someone else will make the decision for you. Your power is in your vote.

3. It's your money.

tax time

You pay taxes, but do you know how that money is being used? Most people don’t. Voting is your chance to choose how your tax dollars are spent – such as funding for health care and social services.

4. Voting is an opportunity for change.

voting ballet

Do you want to make a positive impact? Voting gives you that chance! Support the candidates and ballot measures that can help your community, state, and even the nation for the greater good. Make your voice heard in these elections.

5. The community depends on you!

Our communities are made up of friends, loved ones, neighbors, and children. Some may not know how important voting is, while others don’t have the privilege. Make the decision to vote for yourself and those around you.

Make sure your voice is heard – vote!

Vote and Grow Healthy: Why Your Health, Community, and Future Depends on It

August 14, 2020

NOTE: It’s so important to understand what you are voting about. AltaMed has guides with information about the propositions on the upcoming ballot here and here. Voting is already underway, so read up, take notes, and be sure to vote early.

If you live in Los Angeles county, click here for a list of AltaMed locations where you can vote early in person or drop off your ballot.

Orange County voters can drop off their ballot at AltaMed Medical and Dental Group – Santa Ana, Main.

You may be wondering, “What does voting have to do with my health?”

In a nutshell, EVERYTHING. Voting is critical to ensuring access to health care and protecting the rights of everyone, including immigrants and the undocumented, women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and other members of society who have been historically marginalized or overlooked.

If You Can Vote, Vote in Every Single Election

Section 1

Unfortunately, even those who can vote usually only cast their ballots in the big contests, often ignoring local races and ballot measures. Yes, the presidential election has a big impact on our lives (especially this year), but so do all of the other elections.

For example, in the November election, Californians will vote on a proposition that would increase rent control/rent stabilization protections but cut into the state’s revenue. Whether or not the proposition passes, the outcome affects millions of Californians.

Even elections for city offices and positions on a school board can have a big impact on our daily lives and the health of our communities. So, if you can vote, educate yourself on the choices and participate in every election.

Vote Because Not Everyone Can

Your vote is like a voice, allowing you to support causes and candidates that advance your interests. However, many people in this country don’t have a voice. For example, our children! Voting is a way to help secure the best possible future for generations to come, including access to education, care, and more opportunities.

Immigrants and undocumented individuals cannot vote either and your vote can help improve their lives. Though you may not get the chance to vote directly on matters of citizenship and immigration, the officials you elect can advocate for immigration reform, more humane treatment of undocumented individuals, and stronger protections for immigrants and their families.

Have a Say Where Your Money Goes

Our tax dollars are used to fund many important public projects, such as improvements to mass transit and roads, protecting our environment, and expanding access to social services. But not all projects benefit everyone, and some can be controversial. Another initiative in this November’s election would fund stem cell research, which conflicts with some people’s religious beliefs, while others believe this research is important for future medical treatments. If you don’t vote, you don’t have any say in where your taxes go.

People Worked Hard for You to Have a Voice

Section 2

This year, we mark the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights in the United States. Black people have only had the right to vote in America since 1965. Even though these rights have been established with amendments to the Constitution, there are many politicians who are trying to chip away at these rights and make it harder to vote. You can keep voting rights alive by exercising them as often as you can.

It’s Safe and It’s Never Been Easier

Section 3

Governor Newsom worked with the state legislature to make sure all registered California voters receive a vote-by-mail ballot. His office is working with local leaders, all over the state, to make sure that anyone who wants to, can access safe and secure in-person voting.

Vote by mail ballots will be mailed out on October 5. Voting by mail is easy, safe, and reliable. You can even track your ballot at every step at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov to make sure your vote is counted accurately and on-time.

Make Sure Your Registration is Current

In partnership with Vote.org, we have digital resources to help you get registered, check your registration status online, or get election notifications and reminders. These tools are all available at myvotemyhealth.org/vote. They are convenient, instant, safe, and secure. We always protect your privacy. You can also download the My Vote. My Health. app to learn more about voting and advocacy opportunities.

To stay on top of the important issues and learn more about how important your vote is, follow our Town Hall YouTube playlist. Each Town Hall features a panel of experts and lively, informative conversations – our latest one features the work we’ve done with the My Vote. My Health. Initiative. Together, we can drive important changes for our communities. Let’s make that difference.

For more information about voting in the November 3 General Election, including questions about the status of your Vote-by-Mail ballot, contact your county Registrar:

Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office

(800) 815-2666


Orange County Registrar of Voters

(714) 567-7600