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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 6, 2021

Mail-in ballots approved in California before delta surge

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  • Legislation to require that mail-in ballots be sent to registered voters in California predates the delta variant surge.

Some social media users are claiming that California exploited the COVID-19 delta variant as an excuse to use mail-in ballots for the upcoming recall election in which voters will decide whether to oust Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

"Due to the new ‘delta variant’ California will be mailing in ballots for recall election," reads the text of a screenshot of a tweet being shared on Instagram. "Setting it up for @GavinNewsom to stay in power. If you can’t see how obvious the corruption & lies are then you’re truly lost." 

But the ballot decision predates the current COVID-19 surge that’s being driven by the contagious delta variant

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In February, Newsom signed Senate Bill 29, legislation requiring county elections officials to mail a ballot to every registered voter for all elections announced or held before Jan. 1, 2022. 

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This includes Newsom’s recall election, which is set for Sept. 14. 

The bill, which was opposed by Republicans, extended another law enacted in the fall to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus at election polls. 

The Associated Press reported that lawmakers didn’t mention the recall election during debate over the bill before it was passed on Feb. 16. The AP quoted Assemblyman Marc Berman as saying the legislation "recognizes that the pandemic has not gone away." 

But to claim that lawmakers are seizing upon the delta variant to extend universal mail-in voting for the recall election is wrong. We rate that claim False.


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Mail-in ballots approved in California before delta surge

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