California has propositions on the ballot every election. Voting on propositions is a form of direct democracy. If a proposition passes, it may alter the Constitution of California, the California Codes, or the California Statutes. Propositions are added to the ballot by the California State Legislature or through a petition. It costs $2,000 to submit a proposition, which is refunded if it makes it onto the ballot. Since 1998, proposition numbers are not reused over the course of a ten year period, after which they start back at one. This year, there were 12 ballot propositions for Californians to vote on. Here are three propositions that we found interesting and wanted to share with our readers.
Proposition 16 – Currently, as per Proposition 209, passed in 1996, it is illegal for any public school or government agency or workplace to discriminate against or favor a student or job candidate on the basis of race, religion, or sex. Voting yes on Proposition 16 would have overturned Proposition 209. Proponents of Proposition 16 say that blocking the consideration of race or sexuality in admissions for things such as California public universities prevent them from making holistic considerations about candidates, such as what challenges they may have faced. This proposition did not pass.
Proposition 17 – Formerly in California, people with felony convictions who were on parole were not able to vote. Proponents of Proposition 17, which sought to restore the right to vote to individuals on parole, argue that parole is a period meant for reintegrating those with criminal convictions into society, and giving them voting rights is just one step to properly do that. Opponents argue that a person’s prison sentence is not up until they have finished parole, and thus they shouldn’t be able to vote until they are done serving their time. This proposition passed.
Proposition 22 – This proposition proposed that drivers for companies such as Uber or Lyft should count as freelance workers rather than employees of the company. Proponents of this bill said that drivers should be freelance workers, as it allows them to make their own schedule and work on their own time. Opponents argued that this proposition allows these companies to get around things that all other companies have to do, such as providing health insurance, social security, sick pay, etc. One important thing to note is that ridesharing and food delivery companies spent over 200 million dollars on advertising to get Proposition 22 passed. Uber alone contributed $52 million. This proposition passed.
To learn more about the 2020 propositions, visit https://ballotpedia.org/California_2020_ballot_propositions.