California Secretary of State prepared for gubernatorial recall election, urges people to vote

In just over six weeks, California voters will decide whether or not to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. It’s a process that happened quickly after California’s new Secretary of State was sworn in.  

Dr. Shirley Weber is urging people to make their vote count. "I remind people constantly that their vote counts, it matter," said  Weber.  "They have to vote, they have to participate in this process." 

Weber was appointed and sworn in just months ago, in January.  She says between special elections and the upcoming recall election, there’s been no honeymoon period. 

"Our staff, I think has been in the mode of thinking statewide after November period, because November was unique and we did some things we hadn’t done before," said Weber. 

Weber’s stayed busy verifying signatures, confirming candidate lists and now printing ballots for the recall election on September 14.  

She also says she’s made a Zoom call to all 58 registrars in the state to see how her office can help them prepare in this condensed timeline. 

"They’ve got a roadmap from last time, and it’s a short period of time, but fortunately they remember what they did, and we’re helping them," said Weber. "We haven’t run into any situations where we just don’t have a place for people to vote yet." 

Like the 2020 presidential election, Weber reminds people they can track the status of their vote with the state’s "Where’s my ballot" tool.  

Weber says it’s just one of the many security measures her office has in place. "People in security who are working very hard to make sure our ballots are secure, every printer is tested and re-tested, every machine is tested before it’s even used." 

Before the field of 46 challengers was officially set, Weber was sued multiple times by candidates, including by Governor Newsom, the man who appointed her.

"I understand it’s part of the process," Weber said. "And I don’t take it personal, I don’t get angry about it, you take whatever decision it is and you move forward."