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California Propositions on the Ballot Right Now and What They Mean

This upcoming election has twelve propositions on the ballot in California. Usually, when people think about ballot measures, they’re confused at the PhD level wording, which leads to confusion about how they should vote. Most of the time, people try their best, but ultimately put a random vote down and move on to the next thing. Even though these ballot measures are essential, there are usually only three ads for three different propositions. All the ads end up confusing people even more. Here is an easy guide to the proposals on the ballot right now and what voting “yes” and “no” actually means: 

Proposition 14: bonds

Initiative to issue $5.5 billion in bonds for a state stem cell research institute.

Yes: supports issuing this money for stem cell research.

No: opposes issuing the money for stem cell research. 

Proposition 15: taxes

This is a constitutional amendment that would require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on their market value rather than its purchase price.

Yes: supports the constitutional amendment that would require commercial land to be taxed based on its market value instead of its purchase value. 

No: opposes the amendment. Taxing commercial land would stay the same way it is now.  

Proposition 16: affirmative action

This would repeal Proposition 209 (1996), which says that the state cannot discriminate or grant special treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, education, or contracting. 

Yes: supports the constitutional amendment to repeal proposition 209. Basically, a vote yes would take away the amendment that government and public institutions cannot discriminate based on the factors above. 

No: opposes the constitutional amendment and keeps prop 209. A vote ‘no’ keeps the protections for the factors listed above.     

Proposition 17: suffrage 

This is an amendment that would grant the right to vote for those on parole for felonies.  

Yes: supports the constitutional amendment to allow felons on parole to vote.

No: opposes the constitutional amendment. Felons on parole will not have the right to vote. 

Proposition 18: suffrage

This is an amendment that would allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the general election to vote in primary and special elections. 

Yes: supports the constitutional amendment that would allow a 17-year-old vote in primaries and special elections if they will be 18 at the time of the general election. 

No: opposes the amendment. 17-year-old’s will not have any voting rights.    

Proposition 19: taxes

This would change tax assessment transfer and inheritance rules and laws. This amendment would: 

  • Allow eligible homeowners to transfer tax assessments anywhere within the state and allow tax assessments to be transferred to a more expensive home with an upwards adjustment. 

  • Increase the number of times that persons over 55 or a person with severe disabilities can transfer tax assessments from one time to three. 

  • Require that inherited homes that are not used as principal residences be reassessed at market value. 

  • Allocate additional revenue or net savings resulting from the ballot measure to wildfire agencies and counties.  

Yes: supports this amendment and would make all the items listed above apply. 

No: opposes the amendment and leaves inheritance and tax assessments to stay the same as it is currently.     

Proposition 20: law enforcement

This initiative would make changes to the policies related to criminal sentencing and charges, prison release, and DNA collection. This initiative would add crimes to the list of violent felonies, in which early parole is restricted, recategorize certain types of theft and fraud crimes as chargeable as misdemeanors OR felonies, and require DNA collection for certain misdemeanors.

Yes: supports this initiative and would enact the items listed above into law. 

No: opposes this initiative and would keep the current system the same as it is now.       

Proposition 21: housing

This would expand the government’s control over rent control. The local government would like to enact rent control on housing that was first occupied over 15 years ago. Landlords would have an exception who own no more than two homes with distinct titles or subdivided interests. 

Yes: supports the initiative for more local government intervention and control in terms of rent control. 

No: opposes the initiative. 

Proposition 22: business

This would consider app-based drivers to be independent contractors. It would enact several labor policies related to app-based companies.  

Yes: supports this initiative for app-based drivers to become independent contractors. 

No: opposes this bill, meaning app-based drivers will remain employees.    

Proposition 23: healthcare

This initiative would require an on-site physician at dialysis clinics and require consent from the state to close the clinic.    

Yes: supports this ballot initiative for dialysis clinics. 

No: opposes this initiative.

Proposition 24: business

This would expand the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) provisions and create the California Privacy Protection Agency (PPA) to implement and enforce the CCPA. 

Yes: supports the creation of the PPA and expands the state’s consumer data privacy laws. Meaning, more regulations and agencies are working to protect your data and keep it private. This also means more government involvement with your data.   

No: opposes these privacy law expansions, and the PPA will not be created.     

Proposition 25: trials

This initiative would replace cash bail with risk assessments for suspects awaiting trial.   

Yes: supports upholding the contested Senate Bill 10 (SB10), which would replace cash bail with high-risk assessments for detainees awaiting trial.  

No: repeals this legislation in the Senate. 


These propositions are tricky. They are actually created to confuse people into voting a certain way. Seriously, legislators write these measures so that people will vote the way the legislator wants you to vote. Let’s get smarter than these state legislators and vote with what we agree with, not how the state wants us to vote. 

Here are some quick reminders about voting. If you are voting by mail, ballots must be postmarked by November 3rd. They are accepting ballots up until November 10th as long as it is postmarked by November 3rd. You can vote in person, but it is much safer to vote by mail. If you are registered to vote, you can request a ballot by mail. Go to iwillvote.com to check your registration status and easily request a ballot. No matter who you are voting for, it is essential to get out and vote and make your voice heard. Visit ballotpedia.org if you would like to know more about these ballot measures. Remember, your voice matters, so make sure everyone hears it.

LMU Class of '24 Political Science Major
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