Category Archives: News/Op-Ed

New/Op-Ed: With No End in Sight, the War in Ukraine Continues

by Dominic Ramirez

It’s been two months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and amid widespread sanctions and disapproval, Russian forces are continuing to focus their attacks on the east side of the country, with progress being slow due to the resistance efforts of the Ukrainian military.

Despite having superior air power, Russia still struggles to gain control of air supremacy. Russia has one of the largest air forces in the world and extensive experience in conducting air raids, but so far, Ukrainian pilots continue to resist the Russian attack.

After ten weeks, invading Russian troops still haven’t taken control of any major cities. They have control over areas of Kharkiv and continue air raids in cities like Mariupol, Mariupol, and Odesa.

Another important part of land Russia has gained control of is the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. On February 24, Russian forces seized control of the power plant. Because of an explosion there in 1986, the power plant still leaks out radiation to the surrounding area. 

The Russian troops who took control of the facility failed to take proper safety precautions to prevent the spread of radiation. Places in the facility where Russian troops were staying were later tested for radiation, and scientists found that the troops were exposed to dangerous amounts. This is due to Russian forces traveling through a radioactive forest on their way to gain control of the power plant. The dirt and debris that was tracked in on their shoes was full of nuclear waste, that was spread throughout the facility.

This isn’t the only part of the war where Russia’s military ethics are brought into question. Near Ukraine’s capital, in the town of Bucha, the bodies of 20 men were found lined in the street. Some of the men were tied and gagged, suggesting that this was an intentional execution of civilians.

United States President Joe Biden is responding to the conflict in Ukraine by putting harsh new sanctions on Russia. 

Joe Biden has also publicly called out Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, during a speech he gave in Warsaw

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” said President Biden.

This message sparked outrage from the Russian government, as it is the first time a White House official has publicly stated that they believe Russia needs a new leader. 

Dmitry Peskov, a Russian spokesperson for Vladimir Putin responded to Biden’s speech.

“This is not to be decided by Mr. Biden. It should only be a choice of the people of the Russian Federation,” said Peskov.

To send help to Ukraine, organizations like Revived Soldiers Ukraine, The Ukraine red cross and Project HOPE are all non-profit organizations that are directly aiding the Ukrainian people.

News/Op-Ed: Gas Prices Continue to Spike in the United States

By Ethan Gibbs

In California and across the United States, the cost of gas continues to increase amid global crises and uncertainty, such as inflation and the conflict in Ukraine.

Russia is one of the world’s most important and largest oil exporters. Despite the fact that just a little amount of Russian oil reaches U.S. consumers, oil is priced on global markets. As a result of the consequences of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the disruption in Russian oil supply has made prices start to rise. In the last two months, the average retail gallon of gasoline has increased by nearly 25 %, and President Joe Biden’s decision to ban Russian oil imports from the United States is pushing prices higher.

In California, gas prices are rising above the national average, continuing a trend of the last couple weeks. The average cost of a gallon is $5.44 in the Golden State, with prices being higher in large cities such as Los Angeles. California is the only state that has an average cost of more than five dollars per gallon. 

“Defending freedom is going to cost,” said President Biden 

With the war between Ukraine and Russia going on, President Biden wants to make an impact on Russia’s economy. On Tuesday, March 8th, Joe Biden ordered a ban on Russian oil imports. Although this decision harms the economy of Russia, it also contributes to the increasing gas prices here in the U.S.

In addition, President Biden signed an executive order prohibiting the import of essential Russian items, such as vodka, as well as the export of high-end brands such as luxury cars and designer clothes to Russia. The U.S. and its allies will be able to add higher taxes on select Russian imports, further isolating the Russian economy.

“It has caused the Russian economy to, quite frankly, crater.  The Russian ruble is now down 50 percent since Putin announced his war,” said President Biden 

According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States imported roughly 672,000 barrels per day from Russia in 2021. This represents around eight percent of total oil and refined product imports into the United States. As the U.S. suddenly cut that off, gas prices obviously rose. Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo and Napa now have gas prices that exceed $5.50 a gallon. In Bellflower, gas is $5.29, in Downey, gas is $5.36, in Long Beach and Huntington Beach, gas is $5.19 and in Inglewood, gas is $5.14. 

Inflation in the United States has already risen to 7.9 % in the last year, and that is the highest it has been since 1982, and it is expected to increase even more if the war in Ukraine continues. 

As traders began to view Russian crude exports as untouchable, oil prices soared. This has led to concerns about how that supply of four to five million barrels per day will be restored, especially when demand for gasoline typically rises throughout the summer. 

On Tuesday, March 8th, Governor Newsom proposed a tax rebate to bring into light the rising gas prices. Newsom believes that if the U.S. continues to drill oil, then that will cause more extreme weather, more extreme drought and more wildfires. A solution that Newsom suggested is that the world’s largest lithium reserves can be tapped into.  

Furthermore, China’s resolve to prevent the spread of COVID-19 resulted in a lockdown in the tech capital of Shenzhen. Combined with the new regulations in Shanghai, less people will be outside of their homes, which may mean that the country will require less energy. On a daily basis, China imports around eleven million barrels of oil, and this decline in oil prices helps to keep gasoline costs in the United States from rising.

The gas crisis is an interesting conflict regarding the balance between defending allies and democracy around the world and the economic interest of the United States, as they are at odds with each other in this scenario.

News/Op-Ed: Russia Begins Invasion of Ukraine

by Nicholas Neoman

Russian troops have started to invade Ukraine’s borders, and for days on end, Ukraine has been under severe attack from the Russian invasion, forcing millions to flee major cities like Kyiv. 

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes he is sending these troops as peacekeepers, backing separatist states in eastern Ukraine that want to break away from the democratic country. Hundreds of military caravans have started to fill out eastern Ukraine as the world now starts to speculate the dangers that this could impose. 

Putin has yet to state what the extent of this invasion is. While some believe that it is a tactic to weaken Ukraine and free some lands, others speculate that Russia wants to overthrow Ukraine’s government. Putin’s reasoning behind these attacks is to create the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine. However, these claims have been proven to be utterly false as Ukraine’s president is Jewish and there is no report of mass genocide occurring in Ukraine.

Early Thursday morning, air raid sirens could be heard wailing in major cities of Ukraine. Russia deployed missiles to attack these cities. These attacks are believed to be the most life-threatening air attacks since World War II with the Nazi Blitzkrieg. It also could point to a possibility of war on the horizon for not just Ukraine but all of Europe.

Today Russian forces are growing closer to conquering Kyiv as the death toll rises. Millions were fleeing the city of Kyiv today as fears of more invasion, both aerial and ground, began to grow. 

Increasing Russian units continue to pour into Ukraine as more innocent civilians are forced out of their homes. The Ukrainian government is running wild, trying to find an area to put displaced citizens while trying to mount some form of defense against the Russian government.

The Kremlin issued statements saying Vladimir Putin would eventually reveal how long this invasion would occur and what the goal of this attack is. As the world waits to see what Russia does next, it is interesting to imagine what could occur as a result of these attacks. After World War II, NATO was created, where Western allies would fight for each other in the event of an attack. Ukraine is not a part of this NATO agreement, however. 

US President Joe Biden has stated that the United States would not be defending Ukraine in any physical skirmishes. Unless Russia continues its march through Eastern Europe and attacks Baltic nations in NATO, the United States would remain neutral. Other forces like the United Kingdom and France also follow this same sentiment. 

However, President Biden has created sanctions on Russia economically which includes blocks on technology and special rules and laws for Russian banks. The Biden administration believes that this will hurt the Russian economy both immediately and over time.

Historians speculate that Russia and China, two strong Communist countries, could form an alliance against the world. If these two nations ally together, the US and other democratic nations around the world may be forced into a total war. 

Ultimately, the world still waits to see what unfolds as Europe becomes a chessboard where Putin is the prime mover. Could Putin call off these attacks; or could Europe become the center of nuclear warfare? As of now, all that the world is able to do is to send prayers for those fleeing Ukraine in terror.

News/Op-Ed: World Diplomats Give the 2022 Beijing Olympics the Cold Shoulder

By Dominic Ramirez and Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

With the 2022 Winter Olympics set to begin next week in Beijing, the United States, along with many other nations around the world, plan a diplomatic boycott of the games due to human rights issues in the host country.

Photo by Getty Images

Other countries participating in this boycott include the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. The issue of boycotting arose due to reports of the genocide of the Uyghur Muslims, an ethnic group of Western China, as well as general human rights violations performed by the Chinese government.

The last time the United States fully boycotted the Olympic games was in the summer in 1980 when it was held in Moscow, where athletes were actually held out of competition. At the time, the U.S. took this action in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

On December 6th, the Biden administration announced that it would diplomatically boycott the Winter Olympics by not sending an official U.S. delegation. However, this decision will not affect U.S. athletes who are still scheduled to compete.

“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang and we simply can’t do that,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a press conference.

However, to avoid penalizing American athletes who have trained very hard for the Olympics, the United States will still send all those who are to compete but hopes to send a strong and clear message with this diplomatic boycott.

“Standing up for human rights is in the DNA of Americans. We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights and we feel strongly in our position, and we will continue to take actions to advance human rights in China and beyond,” said Press Secretary Psaki.

The reported unlawful killing of the Uyghur people in China is a huge issue for a lot of countries. The Uyghurs are a Turkish ethnic group who live in east and central Asia. Since 2014, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has placed the Uyghur people in internment camps without any legal processes.

The prisoners in these camps face cruel punishments such as forced labor, sterilization, forced abortion, organ harvesting, beatings, suspension of religious practices and even death. However, the Chinese government has denied all of these claims and does its best to cover up any evidence.

Obviously, the Chinese dispute these claims and are not in support of United States and others on this issue, as a Chinese spokesperson called the United States’ diplomatic boycott of the games a “self-directed political farce.” However, as the topic is censored on Chinese social media, and it is only a diplomatic boycott, the majority view in China is to dismiss the action as unimportant, as athletes from boycotting nations are still competing.

“No-one would care about whether these people come or not, and it has no impact whatsoever on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to be successfully held,” said Chinese spokesman Liu Pengyu, as quoted by Reuters.

Another layer to the cause of this Olympic boycott is the suspicious disappearance of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. Shuai disappeared in November shortly after accusing former high ranking CCP official Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. 

A few weeks after her disappearance, the Chinese state media relaced a screenshot of an email they claimed was written by Shuai. The email stated that she was fine and that her previous accusation was false, but it is widely believed that this email was fake.

However, she reappeared and spoke publicly a month later, again denying her previous accusations in a news interview, which raised public concern.

Furthermore, with the current tense international environment, including the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is important to ensure the safety of all involved. The debate of whether the U.S. and others are doing too much, or not enough, will continue for a long time.

Many call for a complete withdrawal from the games, while others view it as casting stones. However, the overall questions of money, fairness and standing up for human rights are tough issues, which will require solutions that are beyond the Olympic games.

Although a number of countries are boycotting the Olympics, some are not sending over government officials simply due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

News/Op-Ed: Chaos Ensues as Ten Die in Astroworld Catastrophe

by Matthew Parsons

On November 5th, tragedy struck at Astroworld Festival 2021 as ten people lost their lives and many more sustained injuries.

A crowd of 50,000 was live in Houston, Texas to watch rapper Travis Scott at his music festival, Astroworld. Throughout Travis’ set, a phenomenon known as “crowd surge” occurred, the tens of thousands who were there to witness the concert were jam packed together much too densely, leading many to lose their ability to breath. The inability to breathe is what ultimately caused these deaths.

Live Nation, the venue operator, stopped the show over a half hour after the mass casualty event began, around 30 minutes before it was planned to be over.

Scott continued to play his music and performing for the attendees, at times pausing mid-performance to acknowledge that there was something amiss in the crowd, but the show continued on.

More than 20 lawsuits have been filed that accuse organizers of failing to take crowd control more seriously and not staffing the event properly. The crowd surge was like an unstoppable wave, as although some were crowd surfed to safety, others collapsed in the crowd pleading for help and were left unable to be assisted, which led to hundreds of casualties.

Many fans in the crowd were pleading for help and the show to stop, but their cries were not answered. There were protocols for an event such as this taking place by the event organizers, but whether it was used can be called into question. According to the Houston Chronicle, there was a 56 page Event Operations Page that was there to ensure the safety of the 50,000 attendees. 

“Astroworld, as an organization, will be prepared to evaluate and respond appropriately to emergency situations, so as to prevent or minimize injury or illness to guests, event personnel and the general public,” said this document.

However, according to the Associated Press, the plan didn’t include crowd surges like the one that occurred. 

The event was severely understaffed, as the New York Times reported that 505 event security staffers, 91 armed private security officers and 76 uniformed Houston police officers were present at the festival.

Madeline Eskins, a concert goer and ICU nurse that the event asked for help, reported that the staff was missing Ambu bags, AEDs

Per Madeline Eskins’ post on Instagram, a concert goer and ICU nurse, the security staff asked for her help, the medical staff was missing Ambu bags, automated external defibrillators and experience with CPR.

“The medical staff didn’t have the tools to do their jobs, and despite the crowd around us trying to get someone to stop the concert, they just kept going, even though Travis acknowledged that someone in the crowed needed an ambulance,” said Eskins.

Travis Scott concerts have a history of injuries, and Scott himself has dealt with legal troubles concerning his performances. In 2015, Scott pleaded guilty to reckless conduct charges, in 2017, a fan who became paralyzed sued Scott and at the 2019 Astroworld Festival, a stampede left three people injured with leg injuries.

News/Op-Ed: Huntington Beach Oil Spill Leaves Many Questioning The Safety Of Our Beaches

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

Early Saturday morning on October 2nd, it was announced that an oil spill mishap occurred in Huntington Beach California, which has since affected many coastal areas across California and left legal battles in its wake.

Photo by BBC News

Late Friday night, there were reports from offshore boaters in Orange County that they had smelt a petroleum like smell in the air and alerted the hazardous spill hotline soon after. The company at fault is Amplify Energy, and the amount of oil leaked is still in question.

Though there is not a confirmed set amount of oil leaked, the Coast Guard released that they estimate there was a leakage of between 25,000 and 132,000 gallons of oil.

Although initially thought to be extremely harmful to the environment, environmentalists have voiced their hope with new research pointing to the opposite, with the amount of animals being affected staying at a small amount.

Not only could there be an effect on the sea life, but as well as on human life, though the city officials for Huntington Beach have stated that the water quality will continue to be tested twice a week for at least two more weeks. 

Even with the research that points to a minimal amount of environmental damage, there will be no way of completely knowing the effect on the environment for a long period of time. With the researchers still learning more about the effects that these types of disasters have on the environments and animals, it will take time for them to fully understand what effects this specific event will have.

The cause of the oil spill is still under investigation, though. As of October 16th, it is now believed that a 1,200 foot cargo ship dragged its anchor, which ended up catching the pipeline pulling it across the ocean floor for a matter of months until a leak from the line occurred. The spill is still being investigated, as officials are still unaware of whether or not the impact is what caused the leak or if it was hit again after this occurrence. 

Though the Amplify Energy company has stated they are unaware of how much oil leaked exactly, legal officials question whether or not that is the case, as they believe that the calculations for the spill would not be hard to determine, so long as Amplify has all the data from the pipeline.

The oil from the pipeline burst has been reported across the shoreline, even having remnants all the way up to Carlsbad, which is located in San Diego County. This means that the radius of the spill seems to be large and the effect that will have on the environment will be more spread out.

There is high hope that the damages from this oil spill will be minimal, and with hard work from city officials and the Coast Guard, the cause of the oil spill will be determined and hopefully dealt with in order to avoid future problems and so the beaches can be open safely to the public.

News/Op-Ed: New California Mandate Requires All Schoolchildren To Receive The COVID-19 Vaccination

by Ian Cook

After the LAUSD mandated COVID-19 vaccination for schoolchildren, Governor Gavin Newsom and the state of California have now become the first state to require the vaccination for all schoolchildren and staff. 

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With California continuing to post low COVID-19 transmission numbers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Public Health approved the idea of a vaccine mandate for all schoolchildren and staff. This vaccine mandate includes schoolchildren from Kindergarten to 12th Grade in public, charter and private Institutions. 

California has already required vaccination from many viruses in order to attend school such as, Polio, Hepatitis B, Measles, Varicella and more. However, due to a significant decline in COVID-19 cases and an increase in vaccine distributions, California will mandate the vaccine in order to prevent further outbreaks in schools. 

This mandate affects millions of students across California and will place the state at the forefront of strict pandemic safety measures.

However, this mandate will not take effect for grades 7th-12th until the semester after the FDA gives full approval for children twelve and older to receive the vaccine. Students from kindergarten to 6th grade would then be required to become fully vaccinated against the virus once the FDA grants full approval for younger children to receive the vaccine. 

Although the vaccine will be mandated for all schoolchildren, Governor Newsome has given parents of schoolchildren the opportunity to cite personal beliefs that inhibit them from vaccinating their children against COVID-19. With these personal beliefs, children will still be able to attend school fully in-person without vaccination. With the vaccination requirements being processed through the legislature rather than a private business entity, the personal beliefs of parents and students must be honored to some extent. Nonetheless, state lawmakers also have the option to remove the personal belief exemption for the vaccine if they choose to do so, which may result in future legal battles. 

In spite of the exemption, unvaccinated students who do not have a medical or personal belief exemption will have the options of enrolling in fully online schooling programs or being homeschooled. 

With California being the only state to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine thus far, this puts pressure on many other states to either do the same or to speak out against it. 

A few school districts that have been in compliance with these mandates are the (LAUSD) and the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). These two large school districts already mandated the vaccine weeks before Governor Newsom signed the statewide bill.

Currently, California ranks number 7 in the United States in terms of vaccines being administered, with an estimate of 49,700,000 vaccines being administered and 67.4% of Californians having received at least one dose. 

With the recent news of the mandate, there is heavy speculation on whether or not there will be a decrease in the number of students attending in-person classes, or if there will be more compliance with the mandate, leading to an increase in vaccination rates.

News/Op-Ed: A Step Too Far? LAUSD Leading The Charge To Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

On September 9th, the Los Angles Unified School District (LAUSD) elected to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, which has led to an outcry of both support and opposition.

Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times

The LAUSD is now the first major school system in the United States to mandate vaccination. This action has pushed the conversation forward and now puts pressure on other states and school districts to either do the same or come out against the decision.

The mandate gives students who are 12 and older, as well as enrolled in a school inside the district, up until January 10th to receive the vaccination fully. Though if the student wants to participate in extracurricular activities that are school-associated, the deadline for the mandate is October 31st.

The vaccination mandate has not only put pressure on the different school districts across the country, but also the education policymakers whose attention has just been grabbed. With this significant move, policymakers in support of the vaccine will look to further this decision and enforce it across the nation.

Many other school districts will most likely wait and watch carefully to understand the repercussions of such a mandate. However, the vaccination mandate has received support from major statewide teacher unions, as well as the entirety of school board members.

This was not the only Californian school district to enforce a vaccine mandate, as Culver City Unified, which is a small district adjacent to the LAUSD, already approved a mandate before the start of their school year.

Though there have been many supporters of the decision, there has also been opposition, as many families feel that they may leave the district over this mandate. Many families who were already hesitant about getting the vaccine are now feeling less confident and more defensive in the wake of this policy.

Despite vaccine hesitancy and backlash, vaccination rates are sure to rise in the Los Angeles area, though the policy may further alienate those in the state that are not so much vaccine hesitant as they are vaccine averse all together.

There are certain school districts inside California that do not agree with the vaccine mandate and will choose not to follow LAUSD lead. An example of this would be the Las Virgenes Unified School District (LVUSD). The LVUSD doesn’t believe that mandating the vaccination is in the best interest of everyone as of yet. Most of the opposing districts’ worries for the mandate stem from legal concerns.

The LAUSD is not as concerned with the legal issues that they may endure due to this vaccination mandate. However, how the legalities of this mandate are distinguished will be a popular discussion, as there have not been many cases similar to this.

Even with opposition, it seems that the LAUSD will not be the only school district in California that will continue down this path as several other districts have spoken out in support.

With the cases for COVID-19 continuing to linger, particularly cases found in unvaccinated 12 to 17-year-olds, this decision will prove to be significant in the discussion around keeping schools open for learning in the wake of the pandemic.

News/Op-Ed: New COVID-19 “Mu” Variant Appears In The U.S. Causing Concern

by Oscar Aranda

People may not be totally safe with the COVID-19 vaccine. Coming from Columbia, the “Mu” variant has been found in 31 countries and is now present inside the United States. 

Nearing almost 3,000 cases nationwide, the variant is raising concern for another possible widespread outbreak. So far the Mu variant is prevalent in South America and Europe, which is co-circulating with other COVID-19 variants such as the Delta variant.

The state that has the highest report of the Mu variant is California, with a reported 432 cases. Coming in second for Mu variant cases is Florida, which has reported 308 cases, and in third, New York with 209 cases. 

The Mu variant has been found to be resistant to COVID-19 antibodies as well as vaccines, which can lead to many complications if an outbreak occurs in the U.S. Though if another outbreak occurs not only will the people of America be affected, but the health workers will once again have to go through another wave of hospitalizations. 

This has led people to ask how the Mu variant arose and why it is so dangerous. The Mu variant contains many mutations that give the virus the ability to break through antibodies, though it is less likely to be transmitted compared to the “wild-type” COVID-19 or the Delta variant. In scientific terms, the Mu variant has eight mutations, but the ones that make it concerning are the mutations E484K and N501Y, which affect new mRNA vaccines. 

The Mu variant focuses on spike proteins that are present in the virus that allow for it to enter our cells. Although when vaccinated, we are exposed to spike proteins that will help us fight it off more efficiently.  This allows the Mu variant to have such a great effect on a vaccinated person and/or a person that currently has the COVID-19 antibodies. This makes the vaccine or antibodies 37% less effective when battling the Mu variant.

This leads to the question, what can someone do to protect themselves from getting the Mu variant or any COVID-19 variant for that matter? The most important thing someone can do is to wear a mask in order to reduce the risk of transmission. They should also practice washing their hands thoroughly whenever they have a chance. It is also important to note that though the vaccine may be compromised against this variant, someone is still at less of a risk of contracting the Mu variant if they are vaccinated compared to an individual who is not yet vaccinated. 

Another way of avoiding the Mu variant is to social distance accordingly whenever an individual is out in crowded areas. Lastly, everyone should make sure they are keeping up with their own personal health by taking their vitamins for their immune system, as it is the biggest soldier in fighting off any virus and keeping your immune health strong ahead of flu season.

News/Op-Ed: All You Need To Know For California’s Recall Election Of Governor Gavin Newsom

by Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

Californians will decide today whether or not first-time Governor Gavin Newsom should remain in office to finish out his first term.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Newsom, a member of the Democratic Party, has been met with strong backlash due to his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, many supporters of the recall effort cite the homeless crisis, sanctuary city policies and water rationing as other factors that led to their disillusionment with Governor Newsom.

This is only the second governor recall effort in the state of California to reach an election. Should the recall succeed, it will be only the third time in U.S. history that a governor has been removed via recall election, with the last time being in 2003 when Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced California Governor Gray Davis. According to the California Finance Department, the recall election is estimated to cost $276 million.

As in the 2020 General Election, Californians may vote either in person or by mail. On top of the millions of ballots mailed out, Californians had until September 7th to mail in a request for one. If one is voting by mail, then they must have their ballot postmarked by September 14, 2021. Otherwise, one can vote by dropping off their ballot at a secure drop box or by going to the polls in-person. Voters must be in line at polls or drop boxes by 8:00 p.m. tonight in order for their vote to count.

On the ballot, there are two questions. The first question asks whether or not Governor Newsom should be recalled. Those not in favor will mark “no,” while those who support the recall movement will vote “yes” and continue on to second question. The second question, which is only answered by those who voted “yes” on the first question, asks who should replace Governor Newsom. Obviously, the voter will mark whichever candidate they see as the best fit for California going forward.

If 50% or more of California voters vote “no,” then Gavin Newsom will remain in office until his term finishes next year. However, if more than 50% of voters are in favor of the recall, then Newsom is removed from office and replaced by whoever is the leading vote getter of the other candidates. Should Governor Newsom be removed, the new governor will take the oath of office and relieve Governor Newsom of his duties on the 38th day following the election.

The recall ballot features 45 candidates and a “write-in” option. Among these candidates, Republican radio talk show host Larry Elder and Democrat YouTuber Kevin Paffrath are by far the most popular choices should Governor Newsom be removed. Other notable names on the ballot are former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the 2018 Republican candidate for governor, John Cox.

In order to trigger a recall election in California, a recall petition must be signed by enough registered voters to match the amount of 12% of the previous gubernatorial election. In this case, that is 1.5 million voters. The signatures are verified by county officials, and if enough are verified and those voters don’t change their mind, then the Lieutenant Governor must set a date for the recall election. After the election, county election officials have 30 days to finish and certify the official vote counts, as the Secretary of State will then certify the election results on the 38th day following the election.

As of right now, polling data generally favors Governor Newsom, suggesting that he will defeat the recall effort and serve out the remaining year of his first term. According to RealClearPolitics, an estimated 56.3% of California voters are not in favor of the recall election, compared to 41.8% who are. However, despite Newsom being a Democrat from a heavily Democratic state, this is far from certain, as the voices of the people have yet to be heard.

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