With less than a month until ballots start arriving in voters' mailboxes for the recall election, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a series of new rules that will require proof of vaccination or weekly testing for all state workers and millions of health care employees starting in August.
The rules come into effect as California continues to see a growing number of Delta variant cases.
The recall - which will cost California taxpayers $276 million - is on the ballot primarily because conservatives who objected to Newsom's lockdown orders to curb the spread of the coronavirus collected more than 1.7 million signatures.
A special election, set for September 14, will be the second time in the state's history that a sitting governor will reach a recall election.
In the first, Gray Davis lost to Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.
At least 74 individuals announced their intention to challenge Newsom, but the state recently released an official list that included only 41 candidates.
When asked if she believed the recall election was a referendum on Newsom's Covid-19 strategy, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), gave a clear-cut answer to LPO: "No."
According to the Department of Public Health, California has reported an average of 7,500 cases per day of COVID-19, with nearly 3,000 people hospitalized with the virus.
As of July 26, 62.1% of people were fully vaccinated and there were 0.03 new deaths per 100,000 people.
Alex Padilla (D-CA), who filled Vice President Kamala Harris' seat as the first Latino Senator to represent California, told LPO: "I believe the recall is a blatant power grab by Republicans. In some states it's voter suppression laws. In some states it's sham election audits. In California it's a recall election."
Vice President Kamala Harris is planning to campaign for Gov. Newsom ahead of his recall election this fall.
The latest polls reveal that Newsom will not be removed from office and will finish his term in 2022.
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