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Unofficial election results show majority of SLO County voters voting against Newsom recall

Benjamin Purper
A sign at the San Luis Obiso County Clerk-Recorder's Office warns against tampering with voting equipment.

After California's gubernatorial recall election yesterday, major media outlets have called the race in favor of Governor Gavin Newsom, who has defeated the attempt to recall him from office — and in San Luis Obispo County, early results show voters in general voted no on the recall.

The last unofficial results from the SLO County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, posted just after midnight, put the county’s percentage of NO votes at 58.54%, with the YES on the recall votes at 41.46%.

That’s from a total of 56,209 votes counted so far — though again, the results are unofficial and not certified.

In SLO County, conservative radio host Larry Elder was the most voted-for candidate to replace the governor, at 49.22% of those who answered the second question on the ballot.

SLO County Deputy Clerk-Recorder Helen Nolan spoke to KCBX News just after unofficial election results came in, and said turnout in the county looks strong based on several indicators.

Credit Benjamin Purper
One of San Luis Obispo County's election drop-off sites.

“We saw our ballot drop-off boxes filled to the brim and needing emptying more often than we thought they would, so I’m super excited to see what our final turnout percentage numbers are going to look like,” Nolan said. “I think they’re going to be really strong.”

Final numbers on turnout won’t be available, though, until the election is certified. Nolan says that could take a while.

“I mean, we can take 30 days — we probably anticipate taking the full thirty days. If we’re able to certify a day or two earlier, that would be great. [But] at this point, I would anticipate taking the full 30 days.”

SLO County’s unofficial election results are available at

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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