California Proposition 62, "Modified Blanket" Primaries Act (2004)

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California Proposition 62, or the Voter Choice Open Primary Act, was on the California general election ballot on November 2, 2004 general election ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

Proposition 62, if it had been enacted, would have provided for a "modified blanket" primary election system like that used in the state of Louisiana. Instead of traditional partisan primaries for statewide offices, voters would have been allowed to vote for any candidate in a primary election regardless of the political afflilation of the voter or candidates. The two candidates with the most votes (regardless of party or lack thereof) would later appear on the general election ballot.

Proposition 62 was on the same ballot as Proposition 60, which won. The two propositions had conflicting provisions. If both had passed, the one with the most votes would have taken precedence.

A "Top Two" ballot proposition, similar to Proposition 62, was on the June 2010 ballot and was approved.

Election results

Proposition 62
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No5,968,77053.9%
Yes 5,119,155 46.1%

Political offices

Website banner of the "No on 62" campaign

Proposition 62 would have affected elections for the following offices:

It also would have affected federal politicians elected from California, except for presidential nominations.

Proposition 60 conflict

Website banner of "Yes on 62" campaign

The provisions of Proposition 62 conflicted with those of Proposition 60, which essentially re-affirmed the existing partisan primary system. The California Constitution provides that if the provisions of two approved propositions are in conflict, only the provisions of the measure with the higher number of "yes" votes at the statewide election take effect. (Since Proposition 60 passed and 62 did not, the issue was moot.)

Campaign spending

The "Yes on 62" campaign spent about $9,000, while the "No on 62" committee raised and spent $498,589.[1]

The two largest donors to the "No on 62" campaign were the California Democratic Party at $482,778 and the California Republican Party at $15,811.[2]

Constitutional changes

California Constitution
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXAXBXIXIIXIIIXIII AXIII BXIII CXIII DXIVXVXVIXVIIIXIXXIX AXIX BXIX CXXXXIXXIIXXXIVXXXV
If the voters had approved Proposition 62, it would have amended Section 5 of Article II.

Text of measure

Title

The ballot title was:

Elections. Primaries. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Question

The question on the ballot was:

"Should primary elections be structured so that voters may vote for any state or federal candidate regardless of party registration of voter or candidate? The two primary-election candidates receiving most votes for an office, whether they are candidates with "no party" or members of same or different party, would be listed on general election ballot. Exempts presidential nominations."

Summary

The summary of the ballot measure prepared by the California Attorney General said:

  • Requires primary elections where all voters may vote for any state or federal candidate regardless of how a voter or candidate is registered.
  • Exempts presidential nominations and elections of party central committees.
  • Only the two primary-election candidates receiving most votes for an office, whether they are candidates with "no party" or members of same or different party, would be listed on general election ballot.
  • In special primary election, candidate receiving majority vote is elected.
  • Requires political party's consent for identification of candidates' party registration on ballot and in other official election publications.

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 62. That estimate was:

  • No significant net fiscal effect on state and local governments.

External links

References