Election 2012: Proposition 40

Published On : 10/22/2012 8:34 AM
By : Marianne Russ
From : CCN
Categories : Local, State

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It’s an unusual occurrence: The folks who put proposition 40 on the statewide ballot aren’t asking you to support it. They’ve abandoned it.

“A large capitol oops here.”

We’ll have more on the measure that would overturn the current state Senate district lines. 

We wrap up our series on the 11 ballot measures Californians will decide this fall with a look at Proposition 40. Its supporters have abandoned it, but California voters will still weigh in.

Political consultant Leo McElroy describes Proposition 40 like this:

“Probably one of the most extreme misadventures we’ve seen for the California Republican Party.”

Here’s the back-story. Voters created the Citizens’ Redistricting commission to draw California’s political lines. But when the maps came out last year, some Republicans feared they’d lose a couple of seats in the state Senate. So they put prop. 40 on the ballot. It’s a referendum that seeks to throw out the current Senate map. But along the way, the State Supreme Court upheld the commission’s districts. And the Republicans behind prop. 40 abandoned it, saying that with the court’s action, the measure was no longer needed. Now here’s where it gets tricky. A “yes” vote upholds the current maps. A “no” vote rejects them. McElroy says that’s confusing for some people:

“You’re going to have a bunch of people vote no on this, just on general principles that they vote no on anything that they don’t understand.”

That worries Stan Forbes, who chairs the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission:

“It’s very concerning that you’ve got this long ballot and if people don’t know the issue, the default vote is typically no.”

Forbes wants people to remember that instead of lawmakers drawing their own lines, the commission held 30 public hearings and considered 20-thousand public comments in crafting the districts.

“I think that the public should vote yes on this, because this is really a culmination of what they created and to vote against our maps would really be to vote against themselves.”

Forbes says even though prop 40’s supporters have abandoned it, it’s only fair that voters weigh in, since hundreds of thousands of Californians signed a petition to get the referendum on the ballot.

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