Californians had 12 statewide propositions on their ballots in the 2020 election, which included restoring the right to vote for convicted felons and expanding local governments’ power to use rent control. Only five of the measures were passed.
Below is a rundown of some of the ballot measures that failed or passed.
Proposition 15: Property Tax Increase to Fund Education
Proposition 15 failed as 51.7% of voters rejected the measure to require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on market values and not their purchase prices.
This measure would have increased funding for K-12 public schools, community colleges and local governments. Small businesses would have been exempt from personal property tax.
Although the measure was supported by Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Gov. Gavin Newsom and ACLU of Northern and Southern California, Tom Campbell, the state director of finance from 2005 to 2006, opposed it as he said the measure would drastically increase tax in California at the wrong time in our economy.
Proposition 16: Repeal Ban on Affirmative Action
Proposition 16 failed to pass with 56% of voters rejecting the measure which was meant to install affirmative action and repeal Proposition 209 of 1996.
The 1996 measure prohibits the consideration of sex, gender or ethnicity for public jobs and schools as many deem it to benefit minority groups, which means it continues to stand today as it was not repealed.
State Sen. Ling Ling Chang and the Republican Party of California opposed Proposition 16, while it was supported by Sanders, Newsom, Twitter and others.
Proposition 17: Restores Vote to Felons on Parole
Almost 7 million Californians voted to restore convicted felons’ ability to vote on parole and the measure was passed with 59.1% of votes.
This means that California is joining the 19 states that allow felons to vote; therefore, the parole status of a person will not disqualify them from voting. People with felonies must complete their prison and parole sentences before getting cleared to vote.
Newsom, Harris, the ACLU of California and the California Democratic Party are in support of this measure. However, it was opposed by the Republican Party of California and State Sen. Jim Nielsen.
Proposition 18: Allow 17 Year Olds to Vote in Primaries
Proposition 18 was one of the seven measures that failed to pass with 55.1% of votes rejecting it.
This measure was proposed to allow 17 year olds the ability to vote in primary and special elections as long as they turned 18 years old by the general election. Since it failed, people still must be at least 18 years old to vote.
The Orange County Register Editorial Board was in opposition of this measure arguing that there are plenty of other ways for young people to get involved in the political process.
Proposition 21: Expand Rent Control by Local Governments
Proposition 21 failed to pass with 59.7% of people voting “No.”
This measure would have allowed local governments to adopt rent control and permit landlords to increase their rental rates by 15% during the first three years following vacancy, according to Ballotpedia.
Those in favor included. Sanders, the California Democratic Party and Black Lives Matter (Los Angeles).
Newsom was opposed to this ballot as he said it would increase the risk of discouraging availability of affordable housing in California.
Proposition 22: Define App-Based Drivers as Independent Contractors
Proposition 22 passed with 58.4% of “Yes” votes and 41.6% “No” votes.
This measure supported by Lyft, Instacart, Doordash, Postmates and Uber will allow app-based transportation and delivery drivers to be considered as independent contractors, not employees.
App-based drivers can expect insurance for the driver’s spouse, children or other dependents if the driver dies while using the app. It will also require companies to cover at least $1 million in medical expenses and lost income while a person is online working for the company.
For more information about each ballot, visit Ballotpedia.