FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – As the clock ticked down on Tuesday, voters took their last opportunity to submit their votes in this recall election.
“The lady in the election’s office says, ‘Thank you for voting.’ I said, ‘What do you mean thank me? This is my privilege,'” said Art Johnson, a Clovis resident who voted at one of the 44 vote centers in Fresno County.
Clovis resident Michelle Barnes voted at another voting center in the county on Tuesday.
“It’s always been important for me to vote. As an African American, we haven’t always had the right to vote,” Barnes said.
More than 500,000 people are active registered voters in the county. As of Monday morning, around 190,000 ballots had been received.
“Loyal democrats in the area will turn out to vote for him, but a lot of even democratic leaning people, maybe not. Whereas republicans who have, I think, a stronger sense of grievance against the governor over issues like fires and drought, water access, even over COVID restrictions, they’re going to be more motivated to come out,” said Fresno State political science professor Dr. Thomas Holyoke. “Compared to the intensive democratic areas of California, Fresno is going to be more pro-recall.”
Johnson said he did not vote to keep Gov. Gavin Newsom in office.
“We just have a lot of issues that we need to get changed,” Johnson said.
Holyoke said for Democrats, many approve of what Newsom has done to deal with the pandemic.
“And because there’s a certain deep-set fear coming in because of the Delta Variant, I think that’s put a lot of attention again on safety measures and that’s to the advantage to the governor,” Holyoke said.
Barnes said she likes Newsom.
“I like him because he is concerned about all Californians and not just a certain segment of the population,” Barnes said.
Fresno County Clerk James Kus said the first set of results will come out a little after 8 p.m. Tuesday. Those will include early voters.
“Then throughout the night, we’re going to get the results for our vote centers and we’ll do updates until about 11 p.m. or 12 a.m., two or three of them. We’ll continue to process vote-by-mail ballots throughout this week and we anticipate another update this Friday where I expect about 90-95% of all ballots for this election to have been counted and included in that report,” Kus said.
Holyoke said that the first initial results will likely be very pro-Newsom.
“But since Republicans are expected to do more voting today and perhaps later in the day, as time goes on and their ballots are counted, the percentage of Newsom’s victory will diminish. Now I think he’ll still win, and he could still win by double digits, but I think as time goes by, his percentage of victory will diminish,” Holyoke said.