‘Something’s got to change’: Some voters in Yorba Linda vote to oust Newsom.

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‘Something’s got to change’: Some voters in Yorba Linda vote to oust Newsom.

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Sept. 14, 2021, 2:29 p.m. ET

Sept. 14, 2021, 2:29 p.m. ET

Larry Elder in San Pedro, Calif., on Monday.
Larry Elder in San Pedro, Calif., on Monday.Credit…Alex Welsh for The New York Times

YORBA LINDA, Calif. — Sue Vonidstein, a 61-year-old former business owner, said she could not remember whether she had voted for Gov. Gavin Newsom when he first ran in 2018. An independent in one of the most conservative parts of Orange County, Ms. Vonidstein had voted for Democrats in the past. But as soon as she heard about the recall, she was certain she would try to vote Mr. Newsom out of office.

“He’s not acting like a governor, he’s acting like a dictator,” she said, pointing to his pandemic restrictions and support of vaccine mandates. “There are other governors allowing people to make their own choices. There aren’t people falling down dead on the street.”

Just a few miles away from Richard Nixon’s birthplace, voters lined up at a Yorba Linda park at a steady clip, many there at the urging of Republican leaders who had told them, without evidence, that casting a ballot by mail was less secure.

“We’ve gotten a governor out of office before — we can do it again, and we should do it again,” Ms. Vonidstein said, adding that she strongly opposed any change to the recall system, which has been widely criticized.

“We elect them, and if they are not doing a good job, we should be able to remove them, just like a business.”

For Jose Zenon, a Republican who runs an event-planning business with his wife, it is both the pandemic restrictions and the high taxes that infuriate him. Like other opponents of Mr. Newsom, he pointed to examples of his friends leaving for other states, such as Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

“That train out of here is really long, and we might be getting on it, too,” he said, just after voting for Larry Elder, the Republican front-runner and conservative talk-radio host. “The rules this governor made put a lot of businesses in an impossible position — we were without income for 10 months. Here we live in a condo, we want to have a home, but it’s just impossible. Something’s got to change.”

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