MONTEREY COUNTY — Election packets have been mailed out to 211,000 registered voters in Monterey County, according to Monterey County Assistant Registrar of Voters Gina Martinez.

During a press briefing Aug. 18, Martinez said county residents have begun receiving those packets as early as Aug. 14.

The ballot itself consists of two sections, which Martinez said has led to many questions from the public. The first part asks if Gov. Gavin Newsom should be removed from office.

“This is where voters have a say in whether or not to remove the current office holder,” Martinez said.

The second part asks voters to select a replacement candidate who will take the office if more than 50% of voters vote yes in the first part.

“At this point, the ballot’s no longer asking if the incumbent should be recalled,” Martinez said. “The question is who is your preferred replacement candidate in the event that the current office holder is recalled.”

If Newsom is recalled by more than 50% of the vote in the first part, then the candidate with the most votes in the second part will take office.

Martinez explained the questions are not connected, and no matter how a voter votes in the first part, they still have a say in the second part for a replacement candidate.

The last recommended mailing date to mail in a completed ballot is Sept. 7 to ensure it arrives on or before Election Day, Sept. 14. The ballots can be returned to ballot return boxes, polling locations, or elections office by 8 p.m. on that day.

The contents of the packet differ from typical prior elections due to the nature and timing of this year’s election. The contents not only include the ballot itself, but also a voter information pamphlet with reasons for the recall and response from the governor; party endorsements for replacement candidates; a sample ballot as a singular insert; an official cover page for the official ballot with instructions and polling locations; and a postage-paid return envelope.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Monterey County on Sept. 14. Registration closes on Aug. 30. Go to for more information.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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