A Stanford Voter’s Guide to the Midterms in California
There’s more at stake this midterm season than 40% of your grade.
This year, you and the more than three-quarters of California’s eligible voters have a chance to vote on issues like writing abortion rights into the state constitution, taxing millionaires and legalizing sports betting.
The 2022 midterm elections are on Nov. 8 — and after months of seeing Prop 27 ads, it’s finally time to vote for a year with one of the highest midterm election registration rates in California.
We know you’ve been busy studying for the semester breaks lately. We’re here to help you catch up. The Daily has compiled the essential information for this season’s election campaigns and all seven election proposals this fall.
Prop 1 guarantee abortion rights in the state constitution
In response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold abortion protections in Roe v. Repealing Wade, Proposition 1 would amend the state constitution to grant a fundamental right to reproductive liberty, including the right to abortion and the right to choose or refuse birth control.
Prop 26 sports betting in tribal casinos
Proposition 26 would legalize sports betting at tribal gaming casinos and licensed horse racing tracks in California and require tribes to bear the regulatory costs of sports betting at their casinos.
Prop 27 online sports betting
Proposition 27 would legalize mobile sports betting for those 21 and older and allow online and mobile sports betting outside of tribal countries. The proposal includes a new state entity to regulate online sports betting. Subsequent proceeds would go to the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account and the Tribal Economic Development Account.
Prop 28 Arts and Music School Funding
Proposal 28 would provide additional funding from the state’s general fund — about $1 billion — for art and music instruction in K-12 public schools, including charter schools. The proposal would make this amount of funding constitutionally required for community colleges and public schools.
Prop 29 impose new rules on dialysis clinics
Proposition 29 would enact staffing requirements, reporting requirements, property disclosure and closure requirements for chronic dialysis clinics. The proposal would affect the 80,000 Californians who have kidney failure and need dialysis three times a week to clean their blood.
Support 30 tax millionaires for electric vehicle programs
In an effort to reduce air pollution and prevent wildfires, Proposition 30 would increase taxes on personal income over $2 million by 1.75% and use the proceeds for zero-emission vehicle initiatives and wildfire prevention programs.
Prop 31 Ban on Flavored Tobacco
A referendum on the 2020 law banning the sale of certain flavored tobacco products, Proposition 31, would prevent personal stores and vending machines from selling most flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhancers.
In the governor’s race in California, incumbent governor Gavin Newsom (D) meets Brian Dahle (R), a state senator from rural Northern California. While Newsom – who is seeking a second and final four-year term – has raised nearly $25 million for his campaign and consistently led in the polls, little is known about Dahle.
Dahle’s priorities include gas prices and energy, which include ending gas taxes, promoting pro-life policies and lowering the cost of living. Newsom has campaigned for expanding abortion rights in California, ending sales of gas-powered cars and investing in climate change, and projects to improve the Democratic Party’s messages ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
The race for lieutenant governor of California is between incumbent Eleni Kounakis (D) and bank manager Angela Underwood Jacobs (R). Kounalakis, the first woman to be elected Lieutenant Governor of California, said she works to keep more students in the state for the University of California and California State University schools, stop offshore drilling, and protect abortion rights in the state to consolidate the state. Underwood Jacobs, a member of the Lancaster City Council in Los Angeles, is an outsider in the race, campaigning for tax cuts, a tougher fight against crime, and a reduction in homelessness.
Incumbents Rob Bonta (D) and Nathan Hochman (R) vie for leadership of the state’s top law enforcement agency. Bonta, California’s first Filipino-American attorney general, has prioritized the prevention of gun violence and instituted a “Firearms Industry Standard of Conduct.” Hochman accused Bonta of pushing criminal justice policies that swayed too far to the left, believing Bona thereby endangered public safety. As such, Hochman is also committed to increasing penalties for fentanyl traffickers and creating a statewide task force against human trafficking. Both candidates support broad reproductive rights.
California Secretary of State pits Robert Bernosky (R) against incumbent Shirley N. Weber (D). Both Bernosky – a chief financial officer – and Weber are keen to provide citizens with evidence of a “clean” and “fair election” as the Secretary of State’s elections department holds archives of election data. While Bernosky advocates a stronger customer orientation of the State Department, Weber pleads for more barrier-free voting and a higher turnout.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
In this bipartisan race, incumbent Tony Thurmond goes up against Lance Christensen, an executive education policy officer. Thurmond comes into the running after controversy arose after ex-employees spoke out about mismanagement and toxic work environments. Its main priorities include tackling understaffing in schools, providing pre-school education and ensuring access to universal school meals. Christensen’s platform highlights the greater choice of schools and the reduction in “California Department of Education red tape” by giving students and parents more say.
California’s 18th congressional district
In the convention race – where Stanford is located – incumbent Zoe Lofgren (D) meets Peter Hernandez (R). Lofgren is campaigning for her 14th straight term and is pushing for a range of reforms, including education reform, and pushing for energy policies that help the US economy grow. Hernandez is trying to renew public safety, restore parents’ right to their children’s education, and revitalize the middle class, especially small businesses.
California’s 24th State Assembly District
In the Stanford Assembly District, small business owner Bob Brunton (R) wants to unseat incumbent Alex Lee (D). Brunton calls himself a “common sense candidate” who takes a traditional Republican position of cutting sales taxes and gas taxes and alleviating college student debt. Lee’s priorities include healthcare bills for depositors and bills to limit and regulate law enforcement’s use of force.