Recall met with a resounding no

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Sep. 15—STOCKTON — The county's top elections official said voter turnout Tuesday was low, and attributed reluctance to cast ballots to timing.

"I went to a couple polling places today, and I just kind of saw people saying why are we voting now, when in June we're going to vote again," San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters Austin Erdman said Tuesday.

"So they say they're not going to vote because it's silly," he said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom survived a historic recall election Tuesday, winning a vote of confidence during a COVID-19 pandemic that has shattered families and livelihoods and tested his ability to lead the state through the largest worldwide health crisis in modern times.

As of 9:35 p.m., California's Secretary of State Election results showed 46.1% of precincts statewide partially reporting, with the No votes winning 66.8% (5.5 million) to 33.2% (2.74 million). The San Joaquin County results showed 64,816 votes for No (57.94%) and 47,058 for Yes (42.06%).

On the question of who should replace Newsom should he be recalled — a moot point with No winning the first question — Larry Elder led the voting statewide with 43.6% (1.9 million) and in the county with 31,715 (47.04%).

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Erdman issued a statement that 120,000 mail-in ballots had been received by his office. Nearly 390,000 mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters in San Joaquin County for the Gov. Gavin Newsom recall election.

While there were 101 polling places open for in-person voting around the county, including 12 in Lodi, Erdman said foot traffic was slow for most of the day.

"Things started off with a bang," he said. "I was expecting a huge turnout because there was a lot of action between 7 and 9 a.m., but things started to drop off."

Erdman was hoping things would pick up in the early evening hours after 4 p.m.

Of the residents who were either dropping ballots off or completing them at polling places, Erdman said they did so because they had doubts about the security of mailing them to his office.

"They were concerned about the time stamp with vote-by-mail ballots, and they didn't want them to get lost or be turned in late," he said.

While Larry Elder, the leading Republican candidate to replace Newsom if he is recalled, had been claiming election fraud weeks ago, Erdman said there had been no issues by the end of the day Tuesday.

This is the fourth recall election in U.S. history and the second in California. The first recall in California was in 2003, when Democrat Gray Davis was recalled and replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

California law requires the ROV to certify election results in 30 days, but Erdman said the process should not take that long for this election.

The Sacramento Bee contributed to this report

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