The explanation I have found so far for the upcoming recall election in CA is that there are two questions:
Should Newsom be recalled?
If so, who should replace him? (with Newsom himself NOT being an option).
(with the results of question 2 not mattering at all (regardless of percentages) if question 1 gets a majority of "No" votes, and the person with the most votes in 2 (even if less than the percentage of "no recall" votes) becoming governor if question 1 gets a majority of "Yes" votes)
Do I understand this correctly? Also, does the "if so" in question 2 imply that I can only answer question 2 (and have my vote count) if my answer to question 1 is "Yes" or can I answer it no matter what?
In other words, if I do NOT want Newsom recalled, do I still get a vote in who replaces him if he is recalled anyway?
Furthermore - if you are allowed to vote for a potential successor and no to the recall, am I correct that due to how the election mechanics for questions 1. and 2. interact that doing so will in no way advantage or disadvantage governor Newsom? (i.e. Ideal strategy is to pick the best answer to 2. with the assumption the recall will happen, since it cannot affect the result of 1. at all and is moot if the recall does NOT happen?)