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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.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
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.
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.
Instagram post, Aug. 3, 2021
CalMatters, It’s a date: Newsom recall election set for Sept. 14, July 1, 2021
CBS News, Delta variant drives nationwide surge, prompting new mandates, Aug. 3, 2021
SB29, approved by governor Feb. 19, 2021
KQED, State legislature votes to extend universal vote-by-mail through 2021, Feb. 16, 2021
The Associated Press, California OK’s mailed ballots for 2021 as recall looms, Feb. 16, 2021
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