League of Women Voters’ Information on California’s 17 Ballot Measures

General Election • November 3, 2020

LWV Pros & Cons

At this election, California voters will choose the president of the United States for the next four-year term, and elect state and federal legislative representatives.

California voters will also be deciding on 12 state propositions that are explained on the League of Women Voters’ website and in their publication, Pros & Cons — a PDF is below. Four of the propositions were placed on the ballot by the state legislature, seven of them were placed on the ballot by supporters who gathered sufficient signatures and seek to make changes in state laws or the California Constitution, and one is a referendum that seeks to overturn an existing law, and was also placed on the ballot by supporters who gathered sufficient signatures.

Visit Voter’s Edge California to see everything on your ballot, your polling place, and unbiased information on all your voting choices.

How to Evaluate Ballot Propositions

  • Examine what the measure seeks to accomplish. Do you agree with those goals?
  • Is the measure consistent with your ideas about government? Do you think the proposed changes will make things better?
  • Who are the real sponsors and opponents of the measure? Check where the money is coming from on the Voter’s Edge California website: votersedge.org
  • Is the measure written well? Will it create conflicts in law that may require court resolution or interpretation? Is it “good government,” or will it cause more problems than it will resolve?
  • Does the measure create its own revenue source? Does it earmark, restrict, or obligate government revenues? If so, weigh the benefit of securing funding for this measure against the cost of reducing overall flexibility in the budget.
  • Does the measure mandate a government program or service without addressing how it will be funded? Does the measure deal with one issue that can be easily decided by a YES or NO vote? Or, is it a complex issue that should be thoroughly examined in the legislative arena?
  • If the measure amends the Constitution, consider whether it really belongs in the Constitution. Would a statute accomplish the same purpose? All constitutional amendments require voter approval; what we put into the Constitution would have to come back to the ballot to be changed.
  • Be wary of distortion tactics and commercials that rely on image but tell nothing of substance about the measure. Beware of half truths.
  • The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (LWVCEF), a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan organization, encourages informed and active participation in government and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues. The LWVCEF does not support or oppose candidates, political parties, or ballot measures.

Pros & Cons is a nonpartisan explanation of state propositions, with supporting and opposing arguments. The arguments come from many sources and are not limited to those presented in the Official Voter Information Guide. The LWVCEF does not judge the merits of the arguments or guarantee their validity.

The LWVCEF grants permission for the Pros & Cons to be reproduced. This publication is available online at CAVotes.org.

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