Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Vote By Mail Ballots Arriving for September’s Recall Vote

Gubernatorial Recall Ballots are arriving in the mailboxes of all registered voters.


All registered voters in Los Angeles County should be receiving a Vote By Mail ballot for the September 14 California Gubernatorial Recall Election. Our ballots arrived over the weekend.

It’s an easy ballot to complete, compared to many state ballots that go on for pages. This ballot contains just two questions.  The first is simple:  vote yes or no on the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom. But the second question is where it gets complicated. Here’s where voters choose who should replace Newsom, if he loses the recall.

Some political strategists are suggesting that even if voters oppose the recall, they should still consider casting a ballot for one of the candidates to avoid the next governor being chosen by a very small number of voters…while others suggest that if you oppose the recall, you should just skip the second ballot question.

For example story, in a story about the election from the LATimes, Newsom advisor Nathan Click advised skipping the candidate question:


“Leave it blank…Voting no on the recall is the only way to block the Republican power grab and prevent a Republican takeover of California.”


But in the same story, Marcia Hanscom, a longtime environmental activist and state Democratic Party delegate said:


“I know a lot of very smart people and people who are very engaged in political action who still don’t seem to understand there are two questions on this recall ballot. And the answers to both of these questions are essential.”


Hanscom’s comment is based on the fact that if the “yes” votes win the election, the candidate with the most votes on question number two will become the new governor, even if that candidate received significantly less than 50% of the overall vote (a situation, with 46 candidates on the ballot, which is highly likely).  So people opposed to the recall might want to express their candidate preference if the “yes” votes do win.

Also, it’s important to note that voting for a replacement candidate on question number two has no effect on your yes or no vote on the first question…which will be counted no matter which way you vote, and whether or not you include a vote for a replacement candidate.

Finally, you can also vote for a write-in candidate if none of the 46 candidates on the ballot appeal to you.   Be aware, however, that a write-in candidate can only win if they are properly registered for the election by the end of August.  A list of certified write-in candidates will be available on September 3 (which could be a reason to wait a while to return your ballot, if you’d like to take that route for voting).

For now, however, has provided this comprehensive list of the 46 candidates currently listed on the official ballot to replace Newsom, “…a  field that includes GOP politicians, a reality TV personality, a YouTuber, a retired detective, a cannabis advocate, several business owners and even a new-age shaman.”

Polls show that many Californians haven’t yet tuned into the election. But recall supporters have, and they are hoping their active base can carry the election. That worries Democrats, who are just starting to mount grassroots campaigns to get their base motived.

At the end of July, the Los Angeles Times reported the race was evenly divided among voters who said they planned to vote as “evidence of how pivotal voter turnout will be in deciding the governor’s political fate, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.”

The LA County Registrar-Recorder is trying to do its part to make it easy for everyone to vote and track their ballot. We got a text message and an email today saying our ballot had been mailed to us, and if we don’t receive it within a week to contact their office.  Ballots can be mailed back (postage is provided on the envelope), or dropped off at Vote by Mail Drop Box Locations. You can find those in our area at Memorial Branch Library in Brookside, the Pico Pico – Koreatown Branch Library, and Wilshire Branch Library in the Ridgewood-Wilton Neighborhood…all of which offer 24-hour drop off. For more locations, visit  And finally, of course, there will be in-person voting available on September 14, if you prefer not to vote early.

Questions? Call (800) 815-2666 or email [email protected]. Visit for election information. And once you complete your ballot, you can track it to make sure it’s delivered and counted.



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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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