Ready for the recall? Here’s how to vote near USC in 3 minutes

The recall election could decide California’s next governor. While the deadline to vote is Sept. 14, here’s how to get it done now.

A photo of a person holding a ballot envelope in front of them by the camera.

After months of campaigning by more than 40 candidates, the deadline to vote in California’s gubernatorial recall election is Sept. 14, which will determine whether Gov. Gavin Newsom will remain in office. For those who want their votes to count, there is still time to cast ballots.

Dr. Mindy Romero, a USC research assistant professor and the founder and director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy, emphasized the importance of student voter participation and encouraging peers to vote as well.

“Voting is very habit-forming,” Romero said in an interview with Annenberg Media. “If you start voting while you’re young, you’re more likely to continue to vote in the future.”

According to Romero, “the most powerful motivator for voting is peer-to-peer.” For people looking to get involved, grab a friend and read this guide for nearby polling places, ballot tips and more near USC.

Where to vote

The state mailed all registered residents a ballot automatically, so it’s easy to vote by mail or prepare the ballot in advance to drop it off at a Los Angeles County vote center. (For people needing accessibility assistance, see the Los Angeles County Registrar.)

On Sept. 14, vote centers will be open until 8 p.m. There are three polling locations close to USC. Masjid Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, a mosque across the street from campus on Exposition Boulevard, and Vermont Avenue Elementary School, near Ralphs on Vermont Avenue, are walkable and in the Fryft zone. The third location is Los Angeles Trade Technical College on West Washington Boulevard. To check in quickly at the polling location, fill out your voter registration verification form at home to receive a check-in barcode.

Sydney Brown, the president of student-run political organization Trojan Democrats, said that the drop-off locations were a quick option to turn in her ballot.

“If you can, make it to those places,” Brown said in an interview with Annenberg Media. “They’re very accessible, it’s very easy, it takes maybe five minutes out of your day to just head over there and put your ballot in a drop box, and it makes a big difference.”

Ballots can be returned by mail as long as it is postmarked on or before Sept. 14, or in a secure ballot box by 8 p.m. that day. The first of the three closest ballot drop boxes are the Ahmanson Senior Citizen Center near the Coliseum on Bill Robertson Lane. The second is Denker Recreation Center off of Jefferson Boulevard on West 35th Place. The third is Los Angeles Trade Technical College on West Washington Boulevard.

How to fill out a ballot

Aside from choosing how to vote, don’t forget to sign and date where it’s indicated on the return envelope. Each ballot will contain two questions for voters to fill out:

Question 1: “Shall GAVIN NEWSOM be recalled from the office of Governor?”

  • By voting yes, you are voting to recall Newsom and remove him from office.
  • By voting no, you vote to keep Newsom as California’s governor.

Question 2: A list of 46 candidates to be voted on as the new governor of California, which is only counted if the result of Question 1 is for Newsom to be recalled.

A person voting to keep Newsom as governor can still complete the second question.

After voting

For people who use the mail ballot, the ballot can be tracked using Where’s My Ballot?. There are options for receiving texts, emails and phone calls about when the ballot has been mailed, received and counted.

Why your vote matters

While the election’s central focus is the recall, this vote may have national implications as well. One of California’s senators, Dianne Feinstein, has faced increased pressure to resign, which would give a new governor the chance to appoint a replacement and impact decisions made by the U.S. Senate.

For more information in L.A. County, visit