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Make Your Voice Heard California Statewide November 2, 2004 General Election
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Proposition 61
   
 
Proposition 62
   
 
Proposition 63
   
 
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  Title and Summary | Analysis | Text of Proposed Laws

ARGUMENTS AND REBUTTALS

Proposition 62

Elections. Primaries.
Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

ARGUMENT in Favor of
Proposition 62

THE VOTER CHOICE PRIMARY GIVES YOU THE POWER—NOT THE PARTY BOSSES AND POLITICIANS

Proposition 62, The Voter Choice Primary Initiative, allows every voter—including independent voters—to vote for the best candidate for office, regardless of party, in primary elections.

The Voter Choice Primary is similar to the method Californians have used for the past century to elect mayors, city council members, county supervisors, and district attorneys.

Proposition 62 puts power—and choice—back in your hands and takes it away from the party bosses and political insiders who've stacked the system in their favor—at our expense.

THE VOTER CHOICE PRIMARY ACT IS BADLY NEEDED REFORM

It will:

  • open up California's elections process
  • expand voter choices
  • increase voter participation
  • create more competition in elections
  • make more accountable our state's elected officials, so they are responsive to all voters—not just the special interests and those at the ideological extremes

CALIFORNIA VOTERS SUPPORT PRIMARY ELECTION REFORM

California voters passed primary election reform in 1996 with almost 60% of the vote over the opposition of the party bosses. The 1998 and 2000 elections were run under these reforms and voter participation increased. But the party bosses used the courts to block these reforms they couldn't defeat at the ballot box. Proposition 62 is written in a manner that addresses the concerns of the courts and restores the will of the people of California.

RESTORE COMPETITION—OPEN UP THE CURRENT PRIMARY SYSTEM THAT'S STACKED AGAINST THE VOTERS

Politicians of both major parties cut a backroom deal to protect incumbents. They created mainly "safe" legislative districts where party registration heavily favors one party or the other. The winner of the majority party's primary election is virtually guaranteed victory in the almost meaningless general election. Meanwhile, voters in other political parties have no real voice in the selection of their representatives in Sacramento and Washington.

The politicians and party bosses like the current system because they can control it.

That's why we're stuck with an unpopular State Legislature that's out of touch with the will of California voters.

HOW WOULD IT WORK?

In primary elections, every voter would receive a ballot listing the name of all candidates and in most cases their party registration. Voters, including independents, can pick the candidate of their choice for each office, regardless of the candidate's party registration. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, would face each other in the November general election. (Presidential nominating and party central committee elections would be unaffected by the Voter Choice Primary.)

PROPOSITION 62 IS OPPOSED BY THE PARTY BOSSES

The party bosses are running a cynical scare campaign to hang on to their power by confusing voters about the Voter Choice Primary. Don't let them get away with it.

When it comes to elections, you—the voter—should be the boss.

STEVE WESTLY, California State Controller

RICHARD J. RIORDAN, California Secretary for Education

BECKY MORGAN, Former State Senator

REBUTTAL to Argument in Favor of Proposition 62

Don't be fooled!

Prop. 62 is NOT the same as what voters passed in 1996. Under the previous blanket primary, a nominee from each political party appeared on the November ballot. Voters had REAL CHOICE!

Under Prop. 62, only TWO candidates will appear on the November ballot—and they can be FROM THE SAME POLITICAL PARTY!

Prop. 62 is so flawed that only one other state—Louisiana—uses such a system. There, it helped KKK leader David Duke make the runoff for Governor—with only 32% of the vote! Washington state recently rejected this system. So should California.

The proponents behind Prop. 62 talk about "expanding voter choices"—BUT 62 does the OPPOSITE, restricting voters to only TWO CHOICES in November and forcing smaller parties' candidates off the ballot.

They talk about "creating more competition"—BUT 62 creates LESS competition in November's election.

They talk about "increasing voter participation"—BUT don't tell you that Louisiana has one of the lowest voter turnouts because voters have such limited choice.

Here's what Prop. 62 really does:

  • Eliminates voter choice in General Elections
  • Boosts extremist candidates
  • Suppresses voter turnout, making Legislators LESS ACCOUNTABLE
  • Repeals current law prohibiting a candidate from running for more than one office at the same time

Don't be fooled! Groups as diverse as Common Cause, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and California Federation of Teachers strongly OPPOSE 62.

KRIS GREENLEE, Vice-Chair
California Common Cause

HONORABLE MIMI WALTERS, Founding Member
California Women's Leadership Association

GEORGE RUNNER, Co-Chair
Citizens and Law Enforcement Against Election Fraud

 

ARGUMENT Against
Proposition 62

Proposition 62 is NOT reform. It RESTRICTS VOTER CHOICE, makes the Legislature LESS ACCOUNTABLE and greatly damages California democracy. Vote NO on 62.

The special interests behind Prop. 62 want California to join Louisiana as the only state in the nation with a bizarre system based on Louisiana law that SEVERELY RESTRICTS voter choice in November elections.

There's a reason NO OTHER STATE has such a system—it's deeply flawed and undemocratic!

It helped Ku Klux Klan Leader David Duke run for Governor and has resulted in Louisiana having one of the LOWEST VOTER TURNOUTS in the nation. We shouldn't pattern California on Louisiana's bad laws.

Here's how Prop. 62 would undermine your vote:

In primary elections, all candidates would appear in a long list on the same ballot. Only the top two vote-getters, regardless of political party, would be allowed on the November ballot. In many races, YOUR ONLY CHOICE WILL BE TWO CANDIDATES FROM THE SAME PARTY.

If Prop. 62 had been in effect since 2000, over 350 candidates would have been barred from the November ballot. Those candidates received over 8.2 million votes—votes that would be BANNED by Prop. 62.

Democrats could be forced to vote for a Republican in many races, or not vote at all. Likewise, Republicans could be forced to vote for Democrats. That's not choice and it's not democracy.

Other smaller parties—Greens, Libertarians, American Independent, Peace & Freedom, and Natural Law—would all effectively be FORCED OFF THE NOVEMBER BALLOT.

WE NEED CHOICES AND ACCOUNTABILITY. INSTEAD, PROP. 62 INTRODUCES LOUISIANA'S DEEPLY FLAWED SYSTEM THAT ELIMINATES CHOICE AND MAKES THE LEGISLATURE LESS ACCOUNTABLE.

Currently, we have a diverse Legislature with a representative number of Latino, Asian, and African Americans serving, as well as a good mix of men and women.

Under Prop. 62, that DIVERSITY COULD BE UNDERMINED. The Legislature could be dominated by VERY WEALTHY SPECIAL INTERESTS.

Who is paying for 62? A small group of millionaires who have LOST at the ballot box and now want to change the rules to manipulate primary elections and limit YOUR choice in General Elections, giving themselves a better chance to win.

Don't let them get away with stealing your choice and your vote.

Conservative, moderate, and liberal public interest organizations are working together to urge you to vote NO on 62.

COMMON CAUSE, THE HOWARD JARVIS TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION, THE LATINO COALITION, THE LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS, AND THE CENTER FOR VOTING AND DEMOCRACY all say NO to 62. The Congress of California Seniors and California Federation of Teachers also say NO.

ALL SEVEN POLITICAL PARTIES, WHO RARELY AGREE ON ANYTHING, URGE YOU TO VOTE NO ON 62.

Prop. 62 would:

  • Eliminate voter choice in General Elections
  • Force Green, Libertarian, and other political parties off the November ballot
  • Make it harder for women and minorities to win elections
  • Make the Legislature less accountable

Protect your VOTE and our DEMOCRACY—vote NO on 62.

MARY BERGAN, President
California Federation of Teachers

MARIO RODRIGUEZ, Chairman
The Latino Coalition

JON COUPAL, President
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

REBUTTAL to Argument Against Proposition 62

Everything you've just read in the opponents' arguments against Prop. 62 are misleading scare tactics.

They claim they're protecting your right to vote. FACT: THEY'RE TRYING TO DENY YOU THE RIGHT TO VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE YOU CHOOSE, REGARDLESS OF PARTY.

They claim Proposition 62 is a scary new thing. FACT: CALIFORNIA VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY PASSED ELECTION REFORM IN 1996, WINNING 60% OF THE VOTE AND CARRYING ALL 58 COUNTIES.

They claim the Voter Choice Primary has something to do with Louisiana. FACT: IT'S MODELED AFTER THE WAY CALIFORNIANS HAVE ELECTED OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS FOR ALMOST 100 YEARS.

They claim the Voter Choice Primary will reduce diversity. FACT: THE PRIMARY SYSTEM USED IN 1998 AND 2000 INCREASED WOMEN AND MINORITY LEGISLATORS.

They claim this is about David Duke. FACT: A former KKK Grand Wizard and John Birch Society members have been nominated THROUGH CLOSED PRIMARIES here in California. Proposition 62 guards AGAINST extremism.

That's why the deceitful efforts against Prop. 62 led by the party bosses, legislative leaders, and special interests have been described as:

  • a "smelly stunt" (Los Angeles Times, 6/28/04)
  • "sneaky—legislative maneuvering" and "an unvarnished effort to undermine" the Voter Choice
  • Open Primary initiative (San Jose Mercury News, 6/25/04)
  • "a remarkable display of audacity. . .using a full array of fairness-flouting tactics" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23/04)

Had enough?!

VISIT WWW.OPENPRIMARY.ORG FOR THE FACTS.

JOIN SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN IN SUPPORTING PROP. 62. Take power away from the party bosses! VOTE YES on 62!

LEON PANETTA, Former White House Chief of Staff to President Clinton

JULIE PUENTES, Executive Vice-President
Orange County Business Council

HARRIET HOFFMAN, State Coordinator
Committee for an Independent Voice



Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.


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