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Voters decide whether to remove Gov. Newsom in recall election; polls close at 8 p.m.

Voters decide whether to remove Gov. Newsom in recall election; polls close at 8 p.m.

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President Joe Biden listens as California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks about recent wildfires, at Sacramento Mather Airport, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Mather, Calif. 

Voters across California will go to the polls today to decide whether to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office and potentially replace him with one of 46 candidates in the state's first gubernatorial recall election since 2003.

Polling places across the region are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for in-person voting. If you're in line at 8 p.m. you'll get to vote in person, county election officials said.

But many people have already cast their ballots by mail, including more than 837,000 of the county's 1.9 million registered voters through Monday morning. And more than 14,600 voted in early voting as of last weekend.

Two leading replacement candidates from the San Diego area continued campaigning Monday.

John Cox, a businessman who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, was in Yountville — site of a controversial party Newsom attended in spring 2020 after ordering a statewide lockdown — and in Sacramento.

Kevin Faulconer, a former San Diego mayor living in Point Loma, was in Los Angeles Monday on his way back to San Diego so he can focus Tuesday on "get out the vote" efforts.

The ballot asks two questions: whether to recall the governor, and who should replace him.

Newsom would be removed from office if more than 50 percent vote yes on the recall. Voters can select one replacement candidate, regardless of whether they voted to recall Newsom. They could also leave either or both questions blank.

Voters registered in San Diego County don't need to look up their polling place because they are allowed to vote at any of 221 locations in the county no matter where they live. In-person voting began Saturday.

Unvaccinated voters, poll workers and observers are required to wear masks. Vaccinated people are also strongly encouraged to wear masks.

Turnout in the election is expected to be about 70 percent. When Gov. Gray Davis was successfully recalled and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger 18 years ago, turnout was nearly 67 percent.

Recent polls show Newsom with a strong chance to survive the recall and stay in office until his term ends in early 2023. The former San Francisco mayor could also run next year for a second, four-year term in office.

Conservative talk show host Larry Elder leads among the 46 recall candidates.

Last weekend was a busy time for campaigning across the state. That includes San Diego, where political groups and nonprofits canvassed neighborhoods, conducted phone banks and urged people to vote.

This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.

A Napa house that was once described as uninhabitable has undergone a complete makeover and is about to be "flipped" to a new owner. Take a look at the outside and the neighborhood.

©2021 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Visit sandiegouniontribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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