Edward Henderson, California Black Media

For African Americans, the right to vote was won by the passion, sacrifice and bravery of many who came before us.

It is our responsibility to make sure we are doing everything in our power to ensure that our vote counts in every election held at the local, state or national level.

Here are five tips to make sure that our voices are heard (and our votes are counted) in the upcoming gubernatorial recall election.

Make Sure You’re Registered to Vote 

Visit VoterStatus.sos.ca.gov to confirm that are you are registered to vote in California.

If you are not registered to vote, you can register online or by mail to receive a mail-in ballot until Aug. 30 at registertovote.ca.gov. You can also register the same day you vote in-person at a polling place or vote center on Tuesday, Sept.14. You can find more information on the requirements for registering to vote here.

Know What is on the Ballot

If you are in favor of Gov. Newsom remaining in office, vote “no” in response to the first question on the ballot: ‘Shall Gavin Newsome be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?’

You do not need to answer the second question on the ballot if you would like him to stay in office.

If you are in favor of recalling Newsom, vote “yes” to the first question and choose the candidate you want to replace him on the second question.

Vote early

For this recall vote, election day is every day leading up to Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. You may return your vote-by-mail ballot at any time, including on Sept. 14 at one of your local polling stations.

Return your vote-by-mail ballot properly

To return your vote-by-mail ballot properly:

· Drop it in the mail with pre-paid postage.

· Make sure you are using a tamper free mailbox that does not appear damaged.

· Make sure your signature on your ballot matches the one on your voter registration. If it doesn’t match, your county election official will contact you to resolve the issue.

· You may also drop off your vote-by-mail ballot in-person at any polling place on election day.

Sign up to track your ballot online

To keep track of your ballot from the time it is mailed, received, and counted, sign-up at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/ to receive automatic email, SMS (text), or voice call notifications about your ballot. This will keep you informed throughout the entire process.