The June 2016 Primary is upon us . . .

At the outset a quick note on “primary” elections. These elections are intended to be interim elections where the larger parties select their candidates for the general elections. However, the proposition system we have in California requires qualifying propositions to be listed on the next available election – even if it is a primary. So, while many voters “skip” primary elections thinking they are unimportant, keep in mind that there is nothing “preliminary” about propositions on this ballot – if passed, they become law (often in the form of constitutional amendments that are very difficult to change). This year, there is just one proposition (whew) but be sure to check your local election pamphlet for city and county measures. Also, currently both large parties allow “undeclared” voters to participate in their primary elections for the Presidency– you need only request a particular party’s ballot and other state-wide offices (Senate, Congress etc.) are “open” so you may vote for any candidate irrespective of parties — Our concerns about that system notwithstanding. If you are “undeclared” and do not wish to participate in party primary elections, you should receive a non-partisan general ballot containing the propositions that are on the ballot. If you do not have your ballot you can go to your polling place and demand one.

For long-time subscribers to this forum, you already know this disclaimer: Politomuse is exceedingly anti-“proposition” so we start most of our analysis from a default “no” position. We find propositions destructive because we think they are the ultimate special interest tool, amount to legislation by sound-bite (call us crazy, but we suspect most folks don’t spend the time to analyze these propositions), and they remove discretion from the hands of those we elect as our representatives to investigate and decide these issues. Happily (since citizen referenda are now limited to the general election – thank you SB202) we have only one proposition for this election and it is the unusual one that is presented directly to voters for a good reason.

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