Most Fun Voter Guide Ever (California November 2018 Election Edition)

Hello, and welcome to the November 2018 California election edition of Most Fun Voter Guide Ever!

Being an informed voter is hard, but until we institute some sort of delegative democracy, it’s your full responsibility. So stop complaining and start reading, and then, of course, get on with the whole voting thing.

As usual, we will give you the most concise and yet informative explanation of each of the California ballot propositions (there are 11 this time). We are not going to get into the candidates themselves, but below is a brief look at some of the more obscure positions which you will be voting on.

Also, possibly the most important aspect of this election is that it could potentially flip control of Congress from the Republicans to Democrats. Which would really help with that whole #resistTrump thing. What I’m trying to say is, a vote for a Democrat is a vote to save the world. JK LOL (but not really)

Positions (“Offices”)

Aside from governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative, State Assembly, possibly State Senator (depending on where you live), and other local positions, you will also be voting on these somewhat arcane sounding statewide positions:

  • Lieutenant Governor: “Vice Governor”
  • Secretary of State: The state Secretary of State (redundancy dept?) handles elections, business registrations, and more.
  • Controller: the state’s accountant/CFO
  • State Treasurer: the state’s investment manager
  • Attorney General: the state Attorney General is similar to the federal one – head of the state Department of Justice, which investigates and prosecutes things like fraud or other attacks on consumers
  • Insurance Commissioner: enforces regulations on insurance companies
  • Board of Equalization: property taxes, mostly – although each county collects its own property tax, the BOE works to ensure it’s a fair process
  • Superintendent of Public Education: public schools chief

And you may have local positions to elect, including one or more of the following: county assessor, county sheriff, judges, mayor, city council, etc. So, good luck with all that.

Ballot propositions

Prop 1: $4 Billion for affordable housing. It’s a bond, meaning the state borrows the money and pays interest (about $170M/yr)

Prop 2: Basically the state mental health system wants to use its funds to build housing for individuals with mental illness, but it’s not clear if they can do so. This prop would say “go for it.”

Prop 3: $9 Billion for water infrastructure. Another bond, so the state would pay interest ($430M/yr), but it’s estimated to save local governments about $200M/yr.

Prop 4: $1.5 Billion for children’s hospitals. Yes, it’s a bond! ($80M/yr in interest)

Prop 5: Currently, some homeowners over 55 are eligible for tax savings when moving to a different home. Prop 5 would make ALL homeowners over 55 eligible for this savings. But fewer people paying these taxes means local government and schools would lose up to $1 Billion each year.

Prop 6: In 2017, California increased the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon, and increased registration fees on vehicles, in order to pay for road repair and maintenance, as well as transit programs. Prop 6 would repeal the gas tax, meaning the state would have $5 Billion less for roads.

Prop 7: Would allow the state legislature to change or end daylight savings time (but only if the federal government also allows the legislature to do so).

Prop 8: Limits cost of kidney dialysis treatment.

Prop 10: Back in 1995, the state passed a law restricting cities ability to pass rent control. Prop 10 would repeal this law, so cities would once again have the power to decide how much landlords can raise the rents each year.

Prop 11: Would allow private ambulance companies to require their employees to stay on-duty during meal and rest breaks.

Prop 12: More space for farm animals: egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal. Would cost the state $10M/yr to enforce.

Note: I did not forget Prop 9. It was removed from the ballot.

For more info, be sure to check out the official Secretary of State Voter Guide. And if you have questions about where all these propositions even came from, or what happens if they pass, check out our Guide to How Ballot Propositions Work.

Also make sure you know your Rights as a Voter.

Please. Vote. Responsibly.

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