California Proposition 40, Referendum on the State Senate Redistricting Plan (2012)
- See also: Redistricting in California
- See also: Redistricting in California
|State Senate Redistricting Referendum|
- 1 Election results
- 2 Text of measure
- 3 Support
- 4 Opposition
- 5 Polls
- 6 Editorial opinion
- 7 History of redistricting votes
- 8 Path to the ballot
- 9 External links
- 10 References
Proposition 40 got its spot on the ballot because of an attempt to use California's veto referendum process to nullify the California State Senate redistricting plan approved by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Note: A "yes" vote on Proposition 40 was a vote to maintain intact the work of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, while a "no" vote was a vote to overturn the commission's lines. The sponsors who put this on the ballot are thus its opponents, or were until they withdrew their opposition. Sponsors/opponents of Proposition 40 announced on July 12 that they were throwing in the towel and would not campaign against the referendum. Proposition 40 remained on the ballot, however.
A separate referendum, the Referendum on California's U.S. Congressional District Boundaries Plan, was also filed but signatures were not submitted to qualify it for the ballot.
In January 2012, the California Supreme Court ruled that the State Senate redistricting maps generated by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission pursuant to 2008's Proposition 11 must be used throughout the elections of 2012.
- See also: 2012 ballot measure election results
|California Proposition 40|
- These final, certified, results are from the California Secretary of State.
Text of measure
The state's official voter guide included two summaries for each statewide ballot measure. One summary, in bullet-point format, was in the long-form description of each measure. A shorter form of the summary was on the ballot label in the front of the voter guide.
The long-form summary for Proposition 40 said:
The short-form (ballot label) summary for Proposition 40 said:
|"A "Yes" vote approves, and a "No" vote rejects, new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. If rejected, districts will be adjusted by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court."|
Neither of the two summaries in the final voter guide was identical to the summary that was originally given to Proposition 40, when its sponsors sought a summary prior to circulating petitions to qualify the measure for the ballot. The summary that was given by election officials to Proposition 40 at that time said:
- "State Senate districts are revised every ten years following the federal census. This year, the voter-approved California Citizens Redistricting Commission revised the boundaries of the 40 Senate districts. This referendum petition, if signed by the required number of registered voters and filed with the Secretary of State, will: (1) Place the revised State Senate boundaries on the ballot and prevent them from taking effect unless approved by the voters at the next statewide election; and (2) Require court-appointed officials to set interim boundaries for use in the next statewide election."
(This is a summary of the initiative's estimated "fiscal impact on state and local government" prepared by the California Legislative Analyst's Office and the Director of Finance.)
Supporters are those working for "Yes on 40" to have the Redistricting Commission lines upheld.
The arguments in favor of Proposition 40 in the state's official voter guide were submitted by:
- Jennifer A. Waggoner. Waggoner is the president of the League of Women Voters of California.
- David Pacheco. Pacheco is the president of AARP California.
- Allan Zaremberg. Zaremberg is the president of the California Chamber of Commerce.
- Kathay Feng. Feng is the executive director of California Common Cause.
- John Kabateck. Kabateck is the executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business/California.
- Gary Toebben. Toebben is the president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
A "yes" vote on Proposition 40 was also supported by:
- Charles Munger, Jr.
- The California Democratic Party
- The California Republican Party. They originally were in favor of a "no" vote, but in mid-July, they withdrew their opposition and came out in favor of a "yes" vote.
Arguments in favor
The arguments presented in favor of Proposition 40 in the state's official voter guide included:
- "A "yes" vote on Prop. 40 means that the State Senate maps drawn by the voter-approved independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will remain in place. A "no" vote on Prop. 40 gives the politicians an opportunity to overturn the fair districts drawn by the independent Commission—costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process."
- "In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 11, which created the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw the district maps for the State Senate and State Assembly. Before Prop. 11, the politicians in the state Legislature drew their own uncompetitive districts, virtually guaranteeing themselves re-election. Now, a small group of Sacramento politicians is unhappy with the results of the State Senate maps drawn by the independent Commission. These politicians are using this referendum to try to get their uncompetitive districts back."
- "When the same politicians tried a lawsuit against the State Senate maps, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously against them: “. . . not only do the Commission-certified Senate districts appear to comply with all of the constitutionally mandated criteria set forth in California Constitution, article XXI, the Commission-certified Senate districts also are a product of what generally appears to have been an open, transparent and nonpartisan redistricting process as called for by the current provisions of article XXI."
- "California voters have voted three times in the last four years to have district maps drawn by an independent Commission, not the politicians."
- "The passage of Proposition 11 and Proposition 20 and the defeat of Proposition 27 created a fair redistricting process that doesn’t involve Sacramento politicians! Because of these voter-approved reforms, for the first time in decades, the independent Commission drew fair districts for state legislators and Congress, starting with the 2012 elections. These redistricting reforms have put an end to political backroom deals by ensuring the process is transparent and open to the public. And, politicians are no longer guaranteed re-election, but are held accountable to voters and have to respond to constituent needs."
- "Voters still need to vote YES on PROP. 40 to ensure the State Senate maps drawn by the voter-approved independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will remain in place—even though the sponsors of this referendum have indicated above that they are no longer asking for a "no" vote. Once a referendum qualifies for the ballot, it is impossible to remove it—even if backers abandon the measure."
| Total campaign cash |
as of November 3, 2012
These are the $10,000 and over donors to the "yes" campaign as of Saturday, November 3, 2012:
|Charles Munger, Jr.||$599,102|
Note: Opponents are defined in this article as those working for "No on 40" to throw out the Redistricting Commission lines. It is those opponents who took the steps necessary to qualify Proposition 40 for the ballot by circulating petitions to do so. They withdrew from all campaign efforts to obtain a "no" vote on Proposition 40 in mid-July 2012.
Charles H. Bell, Jr. filed the official request for a ballot title on behalf of Julie Vandermost.
The official campaign committee (before it withdrew its opposition) was called "Fair Districts 2012." According to their website, "We are a citizens group aimed at holding the Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) accountable for creating fair districts in California. The committee is made up of individuals, businesses, elected officials, and community leaders who are concerned that a well-intentioned process of drawing legislative districts has put Californians in danger of being misrepresented regardless of race, culture or political party."
The argument presented in opposition to Proposition 40 in the state's official voter guide was written by Julie Vandermost, and said:
- "As the Official Sponsor of Proposition 40, our intention was to make sure its qualification for the ballot would stop the current Senate District lines from being implemented in 2012. The Supreme Court reviewed the process and intervened to keep district lines in place. With the court’s action, this measure is not needed and we are no longer asking for a NO vote."
| Total campaign cash |
as of November 3, 2012
Prior to the mid-July decision by the "No on Proposition 40" campaign to abandon their efforts, they had raised about $2.2 million to qualify the measure for the ballot.
These are the $50,000 and over donors to the "no" campaign:
|California Republican Party||$1,749,562|
|Senator Bob Dutton for Supervisor 2014||$125,000|
|Friends of Mimi Walters for Senate 2012||$75,500|
- See also: Polls, 2012 ballot measures
A September 2011 poll conducted by Field Poll indicated that most voters would not vote to overturn the California State Senate maps drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. (Note: A "yes" vote on this referendum is a vote to maintain intact the work of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.) 34% of those surveyed said that they were aware of the commission's redistricting work.
|Date of Poll||Pollster||In favor||Opposed||Undecided||Number polled|
|September 1-12, 2011||Field Poll||42%||29%||29%||1,001|
|October 7-10, 2012||California Business Roundtable||44.2%||26.1%||29.7%||830|
|October 21-28, 2012||California Business Roundtable||48.2%||24.8%||27.0%||2,115|
"Yes on 40"
- The Bakersfield Californian: "Proposition 40 hasn't generated as much smoke as other initiatives on the Nov. 6 ballot, and with good reason: Its original backers have thrown in the towel. They're no longer campaigning. So why are we bothering to endorse it? Two reasons: Prop. 40 remains on the ballot nonetheless, and, because it's classified as a veto referendum, voters' choices may seem counterintuitive. Yes essentially means no and no means yes. Here's all you need to know: Vote yes."
- The Contra Costa Times: "A yes vote upholds the redistricting of the state's legislative and congressional districts drawn up by a citizens' committee, created by a vote of the people in the first place."
- The Daily Democrat (Woodland, California): "Vote yes on this referendum to leave in place state Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission."
- The Fresno Bee: "The citizens commission's work was not perfect, but commissioners followed their voter-approved mandate by holding public hearings and by drawing districts that didn't favor incumbents. But Republicans, who supported creating the independent commission, didn't like how the Senate maps turned out. Disagreements will occur in such a process, but the system needs time to work before its work is challenged."
- The Lompoc Record: "If Prop. 40 is voted down, the state Supreme Court will be required to name a special master, whose task will be to redraw state Senate district lines — which have already been redrawn and approved. If Prop. 40 goes down, taxpayers will be on the hook for at least a half-million bucks to pay for the process of completing a job that’s already been completed."
- The Los Angeles Daily News: "Voting yes will safeguard a key element of California's latest round of political reforms, a change that the public demanded -- and then expanded and reaffirmed in recent years."
- The Los Angeles Times: "Voting for Proposition 40 upholds the work of the redistricting commission. That work was done fairly and in nonpartisan fashion, and even those who once questioned it have come around."
- The Marin Independent Journal: "Voting for Proposition 40 is another statement by voters that they support the citizens commission. While the new lines aren't perfect, they make a lot more sense than those drawn by ambition- and power-driven politicians."
- The Merced Sun-Star: "After the state Supreme Court upheld the maps, Republicans abandoned their effort, but did so too late. So this confusing measure remains on the Nov. 6 ballot."
- The Modesto Bee: "...leave the state Senate districts as they are drawn."
- The North County Times: "That kind of chicanery alone justifies a 'yes' vote."
- The Orange County Register: "There is no doubt that there were some valid concerns about the new citizens redistricting panel, including that some interests succeeded in packing the panel with their supporters. Still, the citizens panel is preferable to again having lawmakers draw their own districts, in essence, picking their own voters. The new process focused a brighter spotlight than usual on redistricting and brought it out from behind closed-door meetings."
- The Press-Enterprise: "Californians should vote yes on this measure to support redistricting reforms and save money. There is no credible reason to spend $1 million in public funds to redraw new state Senate districts."
- The Redding Record Searchlight: "To keep the maps, which even earlier GOP critics now accept, voters should say 'Yes.'"
- The Sacramento Bee: "A 'yes' vote would save state and local governments $1 million. A 'no' vote would waste $1 million."
- The San Bernardino Sun: "One of the 11 propositions on the November ballot poses a threat to the state's smart new system for setting the boundaries of legislative districts. The threat comes mostly from the potential for confusion about the ballot language. So let's be as clear as possible: Californians should vote 'yes' on Proposition 40. Voting yes will safeguard a key element of California's latest round of political reforms, a change that the public demanded - and then expanded and reaffirmed in recent years."
- The San Francisco Bay Guardian: "Those new districts aren't perfect — indeed, San Francisco was placed in a single Senate district instead of the pair we had — but the process that created them was widely lauded as 'open, transparent, and nonpartisan,' as the California Supreme Court ruled in rejecting a challenge to the districts."
- The San Francisco Chronicle: "California voters have twice expressed their determination to put the job of drawing legislative districts in the hands of an independent commission instead of self-interested politicians. It was the right thing to do when some Democrats feared that a fair process might cost them seats - since they control the Legislature - and it remains the right thing to do now that it's the Republicans who are alarmed at losing ground under partisan-blind criteria."
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel: "If you have questions about why California voters are bombarded every election with a lengthy list of ballot measures, Proposition 40 on the Nov. 6 ballot is a poster child for all that is confusing, unnecessary and misleading about this process."
- The Vallejo Times-Herald:
- The Ventura County Star: "By voting yes on Proposition 40, Californians will affirm the new Senate districts and send a message to the commission: Nice job."
History of redistricting votes
The 2012 vote is not the first time that California voters have been asked to vote on a redistricting plan using their power of veto referendum.
In 1928 and 1982, voters weighed in on these measures:
- 1928: Proposition 1, Reapportionment of Legislative Districts
- 1982: Proposition 10, Congressional Redistricting Act
- 1982: Proposition 11, State Senate Redistricting Act
- 1982: Proposition 12, State Assembly Redistricting Act
Path to the ballot
- See also: California signature requirements
Sponsors/opponents of Proposition 40 needed to collect 504,760 signatures by November 13, 2011 to qualify the measure for the ballot. Its sponsors turned in 710,924 signatures in 57 of California's 58 counties by the deadline. On February 24, 2012, the California Secretary of State's office announced that the measure had qualified for the ballot.
State senator Mimi Walters said, "Hundreds of people worked tirelessly for almost three months to collect these signatures, overcoming great odds and many skeptics." GOP consultant Dave Gilliard said, "Gathering this many signatures in so little time, for a referendum on an issue like redistricting, which lacks public awareness, is an extraordinary accomplishment."
A statement from the California Secretary of State's office indicated that it was likely to take until March 17, 2012 for the signatures to be verified. This date was 78 days after California's redistricting law says that candidates must know the shape of the state senate district they might run in. March 17, 2012 is also 80 days before the June 2012 primary.
The letter requesting a title and summary for the proposed referendum was signed by Charles H. Bell, Jr. and was received by the Attorney General of California's office on August 16, 2011. The summary was provided on August 26, 2011 and a circulation deadline of November 13, 2011 was given to the referendum.
Cost of signature collection:
The cost of collecting the signatures to qualify Proposition 40 for the ballot came to $584,126.
The primary signature vendor was Bader & Associates.
- Complete November 6, 2012 official voter guide
- Ballot title, summary and LAO analysis of Proposition 40
- Arguments for and against Proposition 40 in the official state voter guide
- Letter requesting a ballot title for Referendum 11-0028 (dead link)
- Living Voters Guide to Proposition 40
- Proposition 40, an overview prepared by the League of Women Voters of California
- Proposition 40 on Voter's Edge
- Proposition 40 Cheatsheet from KCET
- Proposition 40 on California Choices (sponsored by Next 10, IGS at UC Berkeley, the UC San Diego Political Science Department, the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford, and the Center for CA Studies at Sac State)
- Proposition 40 at the California Voter Foundation
Opposition (since withdrawn):
- Malibu Patch, "GOP Group Can Start Collecting Signatures," August 28, 2011
- Sacramento Bee, "GOP ends effort to kill California Senate districts, won't push Prop. 40," July 13, 2012
- BizJournals, "Top California court rejects GOP redistricting challenge," January 27, 2012
- "California Democratic Party Announces Endorsements for November Ballot Propositions," July 29, 2012
- Fair Districts 2012, "Who We Are"
- Field Poll, "Just one in three voters are aware of state commission's redrawing of district lines," September 22, 2011
- Sacramento Bee, "California's voters inclined to support new political maps," September 22, 2011
- Bakersfield Californian, "Yes on Prop. 40: Retain changes in redistricting," September 19, 2012
- Contra Costa Times, "Summary of our endorsements on state propositions," September 22, 2012
- Daily Democrat, "Democrat endorsements: Propositions," October 14, 2012
- Fresno Bee, "EDITORIAL: Don't get confused by Prop. 40's language," October 1, 2012
- Lompoc Record, "Slogging through the ballot," October 8, 2012
- Los Angeles Daily News, "Editorial: Yes means no -- A positive vote on Proposition 40 saves the states new independent political maps from repeal," September 12, 2012
- Los Angeles Times, "Yes on Proposition 40," September 20, 2012
- Marin Independent Journal, "Editorial: IJ endorsements for state Propositions 38-40," October 13, 2012
- Merced Sun-Star, "Our View: A 'yes' vote on Prop. 40 avoids waste," September 25, 2012
- Modesto Bee, "Vote 'yes' on Proposition 40 to avoid waste," September 24, 2012
- North County Times, "Yes on 40," September 21, 2012
- Orange County Register, "Editorial: Prop. 40 (redistricting): Yes," September 12, 2012
- Press-Enterprise, "Yes on 40," September 25, 2012
- Redding Record Searchlight, "Editorial: Proposition 40: Confusing route to easy vote: Yes," September 19, 2012
- "Sacramento Bee," "Endorsements: Don't get confused by Prop. 40 on districts," September 17, 2012 (dead link)
- San Bernardino Sun, "Protect California's legislative boundaries; vote yes on Proposition 40," September 12, 2012
- San Diego Union-Tribune, "Let the voting begin: Our ballot recommendations," October 7, 2012
- San Francisco Bay Guardian, "Endorsements 2012: State ballot measures," October 3, 2012
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Editorial: Chronicle recommends," October 5, 2012
- San Jose Mercury News, "Summary of our endorsements on state propositions," September 22, 2012
- Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Vote yes on useless Prop. 40 Supporters have already backed away from latest redistricting measure," September 20, 2012
- Vallejo Times-Herald, "Sort out the mess, keep redistricting," October 20, 2012
- Ventura County Star, "Editorial: On Nov. 6 ballot, Prop. 40 merits a lopsided 'yes'," August 29, 2012
- KQED-Capital Notes, "710,924 Signatures for Overturning Senate Map. And Yet...," November 14, 2011
- Prop Zero, "GOP Attacks Senate Maps," November 15, 2011
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