How Quickly Will Results Come In For California Recall Election?

By Chris Nichols,
Capital Public Radio,
September 13, 2021


The eyes of the nation will be on California this week as voters decide whether to retain or remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s recall election.

But once the final ballots are mailed, dropped off or cast in-person, many will ask: ‘How soon will the results come in?’ And ‘when will we know the outcome?’

Election experts say it’s impossible to predict exactly when the race will be decided. If it’s a landslide, we might know within hours of polls closing. But a close contest could mean weeks of hand-wringing as late arriving mail ballots are counted before a winner is declared. 

“If it’s very close,” said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, “then you’re going to have to wait possibly all the way until the end of the certification period which is 30 days after election day.”

As a refresher, the election won't be officially certified by the Secretary of State until Oct. 22. Before then, CapRadio and NPR will rely on the Associated Press to call a winner in the recall. Here's how that process works. (Full Story)