California State Appeals Court Orders Some Wording Changes for Prop. 14

On March 16, the California State Court of Appeals changed the wording somewhat for the ballot description, and the ballot pamphlet description, of Proposition 14. The Court deleted the word “reform” and substituted “change”. Also, the Court deleted the fiscal impact statement that it isn’t possible to know whether the proposition will increase the costs of election administration. It restored the Legislative Analyst’s original opinion that the Proposition would not significantly increase costs to administer elections.

The new language on the ballot will be, “Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections. Changes the primary election process for congressional, statewide, and legislative races. Allows all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference. Ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will appear on the general election ballot regardless of party preference. Fiscal Impact: No significant net change in state and local government costs to administer elections.”

The Court said it was replacing “reform” with “change” because “There appears to us little doubt that inclusion of the word ‘reform’ is misleading insofar as it reflects an inherent value judgment that there is a need for ‘reform’ of the existing electoral process.”

The ballot pamphlet (but not the ballot) will include five bullet points:

1. Encourages increased participation in elections for congressional, legislative, and statewide offices by changing the procedure by which candidates are selected in primary elections.
2. Gives voters increased options in the primary by allowing all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference.
3. Provides that candidates may choose not to have a political party preference indicated on the primary ballot.
4. Provides that only the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes in the primary will appear on the general election ballot regardless of party preference.
5. Does not change primary elections for President, party committee offices and nonpartisan offices.


Comments

California State Appeals Court Orders Some Wording Changes for Prop. 14 — No Comments

  1. How many New Age voters know what *participate* means ?

    Right to VOTE — delete Participate

    The buzz words *Ensures that* should have been deleted.

    1 and 2 bullets should have been combined —

    Gives voters increased options in the primary [for congressional, legislative, and statewide offices] by allowing all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference.

  2. Limits the general election to only two candidates thus reducing the number of choices voters will have in the end. If you thought elections were rigged before, just wait.

  3. Oh please. We have a “Top-Two” primary system in Washington and it works just fine. The Constitution Party runs people in the primary all the time and they never get more than 3% of the vote, so they don’t make it to the general.

  4. #3: Washington state first used the “top two” for state and congressional offices in 2008. That was the first year since WA attained statehood in the late 1800s that there were ZERO small party candidates for any statewide state or congressional offices in the final election.

    The “top two” enables voters to choose among all the candidates in the preliminary round (the so-called “primary”). But the price that voters pay is that they are limited to two choices in the final, deciding election, both of whom may be from the same party.

    When a small party’s message is kept out of the final, deciding election, the party loses its main reason for existing.

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