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Gov. Gavin Newsom may not have been recalled by California voters this week, but it’s clear that a majority of voters in Stanislaus County disapprove of his performance as the state’s leader. 

The number was more evenly split in Merced County with the no on the recall vote claiming the majority by a slim margin. 

Newsom survived the Republican-led recall on Sept. 14, with 63.4% of voters checking “no” on their ballots so far. As of Friday, about 83% of the statewide vote was in with just over 2 million ballots remaining to be counted. About 36% of voters so far said Newsom should have been recalled, but the margin was large enough for the race to be called when first results were released on election day. 

“‘No’ is not the only thing that was expressed tonight,” Newsom said following his defeat of the recall. “I want to focus on what we said ‘yes’ to as a state: We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to ending this pandemic.” 

Newsom would have been the first California governor to be recalled since Democrat Gray Davis was ousted for Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger nearly two decades ago. The effort to recall Newsom began in 2019 prior to the pandemic, but the governor’s handling of COVID-19 pushed a statewide petition over the 1,495,709 signatures needed to trigger an election. 

Of the 1,719,943 valid signatures received by the California Secretary of State’s office, 28,886 were from Stanislaus County. Local voters turned out for the election on Tuesday, too, and as of 4 p.m. Friday, 126,870 ballots had been processed and counted in Stanislaus County. Though there are still ballots to be counted, the number so far represents a 44.91% voter turnout. 

Only 29.84% of registered voters in Merced County cast a vote in the recall election. Stanislaus County had 44.91% of registered voters cast a vote. 

Based on votes counted through Friday, 67,182 Stanislaus County voters said “yes” on the recall, or 53.32%, while 58,807 voters said “no,” or 46.68%. A total of 119,752 mail ballots have been counted, and 6,237 in-person ballots have been tallied. 

In Merced County 18,168 voters or 50.05% cast a “no” vote and 18,130 cast a “yes” vote for 49.85%. 

Consistent with statewide results, Larry Elder was the top vote-getter for those who voted “yes” on the recall and subsequently selected a candidate to replace the governor; Elder received 46,962 votes in Stanislaus County and 12,456 in Merced County. He was followed by Kevin Faulconer (6,068) and John Cox (5,046) in the results for Stanislaus County. In Merced County, Elder was followed by Cox (1,935) and Kevin Paffrath (1,220). 

All voted ballots from a randomly selected 1% of Vote Centers and scanned batches must be manually tallied and balanced against the computer counts to verify the accuracy of the election tally system. This process is required by law.