LOS ANGELES—California voters approved many of the state’s 17 ballot measures on November 8. The legalization of recreational marijuana, gun control measures, multilingual education, sentencing and criminal justice reforms, transparency measures, and a ban on single use plastic bags all emerged victorious in the contentious election.
A ban on the death penalty, a requirement that adult film performers use condoms, and a measure regarding prescription drugs were amongst those defeated.
The legalization of recreational marijuana passed as Proposition 64 gathered 56.1 percent of the vote. Canyon News reported that Nevada and Massachusetts passed similar measures.
Proposition 62, which would have banned the death penalty, was rejected by voters garnering only 46.1 percent of the vote. Proposition 66, which leaves the death penalty in place, speeds up appeals, and requires prisoners to work and make restitution to their victims passed with a slim 50.9 percent of the vote. The Los Angeles Times reports that opponents of proposition 66 are already mounting court challenges.
Proposition 63, which requires background checks for ammo purchases and bans one from possessing high capacity magazines, passed with 62.6 percent of the vote.
Multilingual education was approved by a large percentage of voters as Proposition 58 passed with 72.5 percent of the vote. This was the largest margin of victory for any of the measures.
Proposition 56’s $2.00 tax on cigarettes passed with 63 percent of the vote. Proposition 55’s tax extension on those making more than $50,000 a year passed with 62.1 percent of the vote.
Proposition 60, which would have mandated that performers wear condoms in adult films, was defeated. It gained only 46 percent of the vote.
Adult performer and author Siouxsie Q James was happy with Proposition 60’s defeat.
“The true David vs. Goliath story of the #NoProp60 fight gives me hope that even when the odds are stacked against us, it is possible to create change. I’m holding that hope close to my heart as I hunker down and figure out what might be next for my community and how to be a warrior for the communities that are being targeted under this new regime of racism and violence,” she said in an email.
A ban on single use plastic bags was approved by voters with Proposition 67’s passage at 52 percent of the vote. Proposition 65, which would have funneled money from the sale of reusable bags into a wildlife fund and was opposed by 67 supporters and supported by the plastic bag industry, was defeated getting only 44.7 percent of the vote.
Proposition 61, which would have mandated state agencies pay the same amount as the Department of Veterans Affairs for prescription drugs, was defeated garnering 46.2 percent of the vote.
Sentencing reform for non-violent offenders and a mandate that judges, not prosecutors, decide if a juvenile defendant gets tried as an adult passed as Proposition 57 got 63.6 percent of the vote.
Proposition 51, a bond measure worth billions for schools, passed with 54 percent of the vote. Proposition 52, which extends a program to fund Medi-Cal services by drawing out matching federal money and requiring two-thirds majority of the legislature to discontinue it, passed with 69.6 percent of the vote.
Voter approval of projects costing more than $2 billion needing taxpayer repayment failed as Proposition 53 got only 48.6 percent of the vote.
Proposition 54’s requirement that all state bills be posted online for 72 hours before they are passed emerged victorious with 64.3 percent of the vote.
Proposition 59, which mandates the state use its authority to attempt to overturn the Citizens United decision, passed with 52.4 percent of the vote.
Jon Katz, political director of the Santa Monica Democratic Club noted his response to results from voters in California.
“Although Tuesday night was a disaster around the country, California continued its trend of voting for progressive values up and down the ballot,” said Katz in an email. “From criminal justice reform to common sense background checks, from legalizing marijuana to confirming the ban on plastic bags, our progressive priorities had big wins throughout the state, culminating in the election of a strongly progressive senator to succeed Barbara Boxer, Kamala Harris, California’s first woman of color in the Senate.”