LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California recall election that could remove first-term Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office wraps up Tuesday. Just over 8.5 million mail-in ballots — the form of voting most Californians use — were returned prior to Election Day out of 22 million sent to registered voters.

The contest unfolded this summer as the nation's most populous state saw a surge in coronavirus infections from the highly contagious delta variant and the return of masks and other restrictions in many places. There have been raging wildfires, crime rates have risen and a homeless crisis persists unabated.

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