Make a Voting Plan

Make a voting plan so that you are prepared to vote early and safely for the September 14, 2021, Gubernatorial Recall Election. See our checklist below. Share this resource with your friends and family, get involved to reach other voters, and vote for our shared future.

Voter Plan Checklist

I am registered to vote in California and confirmed my registration.

Confirm you are registered and make sure it reflects your current mailing address and language preferences.

I know what will be on the September 14 ballot.

Visit the FAQ section on the recall election and to learn why ACLU affiliates in California are asking you to vote “NO” on the recall.

I know how to submit my ballot.

Learn about vote-by-mail and in-person voting options. 

I voted early and confirmed my ballot was received.

Vote early then confirm your ballot was received. Track your ballot.

I know my voting rights.

Learn about your rights when it comes to voting.

I will encourage other voters to make a voting plan.

Questions? Call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE to report any complaints regarding the voting process leading up to and on Election Day.

Voting Options for Gubernatorial Recall Election

This voting season, Californians will be asked whether to keep Governor Newsom in office. To learn more about the recall election, please visit our FAQ page and learn more about why ACLU affiliates in California are asking you to vote “NO” on the recall.

By August 16, counties will be sending all voters with active registrations a mail ballot. Check your registration ahead of August 16 to ensure that elections officials have your current mailing address and language preferences. You have the option to mail back your ballot, drop off your ballot at designated locations, or vote in person. Below is an overview of your voting options for the September 14 election.  

Option One: Return Your Mail Ballot 

Returning your completed mail ballot will allow you to vote safely and will reduce crowding at polling locations or vote centers for individuals who need to or prefer to vote in-person. You can return a completed mail ballot on or before September 14, 2021 (“Election Day”) by: 

  • Mailing it to your local elections office. Ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day. There is no postage required to return a mail ballot. 

Mailing your ballot is a safe and secure option. Remember to sign your mail envelope. You can track your mail ballot to make sure it’s counted by signing up for BallotTrax here

Option Two: Vote In-Person 

On Election Day, you can vote in person at your local polling place, vote center, or county elections office. Each county has an elections office where you can vote early and, depending on your county, you may be able to vote early at a polling place or vote center.

Your polling place or nearest vote center will be listed on the voter guide you receive in the mail and on your county elections office’s website. Check with your county elections office to see if they will offer curbside voting, voting appointments, or other voting options.


  1. What is a recall?

    A recall is an effort to remove an elected official from office through a simple majority vote. Voters can attempt to recall elected officials at all levels of government: from school board members, all the way up to the governor’s office.

  2. What is needed for a recall?

    For the state-level offices, recall proponents typically have 160 days to gather signatures from at least 12% of the total vote count in the previous election for that office. Proponents had to collect at least 1.5 million signatures to place the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom on the ballot. Because of the pandemic, proponents were given an additional 120 days to collect signatures. After a signature withdrawal and validation period, and after a state agency prepared a cost estimate for the election, Secretary of State Shirley Weber certified over 1.7 million signatures.

    For local offices, proponents must gather signatures of no less than a certain percentage of registered voters. The percentage depends on the registration numbers. There must be a signature validation and withdrawal period before the governing body can call a recall election. Note that recall procedures may be different if your jurisdiction is a charter city or county.

    Click here for more detailed information on recall procedures.

  3. When is the recall election for the Governor’s office?

    September 14, 2021.

  4. What will be on the September 14, 2021, Governor recall ballot?

    There will be two questions on the ballot. The answer to one question will not impact the other question, and you can choose to vote for one question but not the other.

    1. Do you want to recall the governor?

    • If at least 50% of voters who respond to Question 1 vote NO, Governor Newsom will remain in office.
    • If more than 50% of voters who respond to Question 1 vote YES, Governor Newsom will be removed from office and the person who receives the most votes in response to Question 2 will replace him as governor.

    2. If the Governor is recalled, who do you want to replace him?

    • The person who receives the most votes in response to this question would replace Governor Newsom ONLY IF more than 50% of voters vote YES in response to Question 1.

Why the ACLU opposes the Recall