California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a recall election on Sept. 14, where he may become the second governor in the state’s history to lose his job. 

The recall was triggered when Newsom's opponents were able to petition the state and receive the nearly 1.5 million signatures needed to force the election, a threshold equal to 12% of the ballots cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election, CNBC reports. The recall comes as many Republican voters have taken objection to many of the COVID-19-based restrictions that Newsom has implemented during the pandemic, including vaccine verification and testing requirements for state employees, school workers and healthcare workers and required masking for all K-12 students. 

The governor’s office sent a tweet defending Newsom’s handling of the pandemic saying "MILESTONE: More than 80% of eligible Californians have at least one dose of the #COVID19 vaccine & we continue to lead the nation with 48M shots in arms. Now, we’re in a pandemic of the unvaccinated as they fill up hospitals & ICUs. Vaccines are how we end this pandemic."

The first part of the ballot will ask voters if they want to recall Newsom. If more than 50% of voters vote "yes," the second part of the ballot will allow voters to elect his replacement on either a majority or plurality vote. The front runner to replace Newsom has been conservative talk radio host Larry Elder.

Elder has criticized Newsom’s handling of the pandemic and has promised to rescind the restrictions Newsom has put in place.

"I know that Gavin Newsom has mandated that every state worker who has not been vaccinated be tested once a week and wear a face mask at work. I’m going to repeal that before I have my first cup of coffee," Elder said on the campaign trail. 

Elder has also promised he will replace Sen. Diane Feinstein if he were to win the recall election. “They're afraid I'm going to replace her with a Republican, which I most certainly would do, and that would be an earthquake in Washington, D.C.,” Elder said on the Mark Levin Show.

Newsom defended his efforts to mitigate the spread of the pandemic and criticized his potential replacement, saying Elder’s model is “Texas and Florida, and Mississippi. We have among the lowest positivity rates in America. They have the highest positivity rates in America. We have one of the lowest case rates in America. They’re among the highest."

In a CNN interview with Dana Bash, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the recall election could be dangerous for Newsom, citing the state's wildfires, blackouts and the handling of the pandemic. Schwarzenegger was the last California governor to assume office after a recall election when he ousted Gray Davis in 2003. 

The Palm Springs Desert Sun is reporting 57.8% of California voters plan to retain Newsom as governor, with 41% saying they would support a recall, according to a Suffolk University poll released on Wednesday.