California Proposition 43, Constitutional Right to Have One's Vote Counted (March 2002)
Proposition 43 amended the California Constitution to explicitly state that every vote cast in accordance with state law shall be counted.
Arguments in support of Proposition 43 by its primary sponsors talked about how in Florida in 2000, votes cast for President were not counted. Proposition 43 was advanced as a way to ensure that what happened in Florida would not be constitutional in California.
Virtually no money was spent either promoting or opposing the ballot measure.
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Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The question on the ballot was:
- "Should the California Constitution be amended to require that every vote legally cast in an election be counted?"
- Amends Constitution to declare that a voter who casts a vote in an election in accord with the laws of this state shall have that vote counted.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- "No additional cost to state or local governments."
Argument in favor
Proposition 43's ballot argument was signed by John Longville (Member, California State Assembly), Barbara Inatsugu (President, League of Women Voters of California) and James Knox (Executive Director, California Common Cause). The argument said:
- In the 2000 presidential election, confusion over which ballots should or should not count led to a substantial delay in determining which candidate won in Florida. Many votes were not counted due to problems with equipment, questions about whether votes were validly cast, and uncertainty about which candidate some voters had selected.
- In an effort to ensure that all votes cast in accordance with Florida law were counted, local election officials began hand recounts of ballots. Those recounts demonstrated that vote tallying machines were less than perfect, and that votes had been missed in the original tally.
- Unfortunately, election officials were unable to complete hand counts before a deadline for certifying the state's vote. This deadline fell more than a month before the President was to take office, leaving adequate time to complete hand recounts. Nevertheless, citing this deadline, the United States Supreme Court and the Florida Secretary of State effectively stopped hand counts and certified election results using incomplete vote totals. As a result, thousands of voters did not have their votes counted, even though they cast their votes in accordance with Florida law.
Path to the ballot
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 43 on the ballot via Assembly Constitutional Amendment 9 of the 2001-2002 Regular Session (Resolution Chapter 114, Statutes of 2001).
|Votes in legislature to refer to ballot|
- Official Voter Guide
- Smart Voter information about Prop 43
- Donors to Proposition 43
- Official declaration of the March 5, 2002 vote (dead link)
- March 5, 2002 ballot proposition voter guide (PDF)
- Legislative Analyst's summary of Proposition 43