California Proposition 60, Political Party Election Rights Act (2004)
Proposition 60 codified in the California Constitution the existing process of partisan primary elections for statewide offices. It was approved for the ballot by the California Assembly by a vote of 55-21 and by the California State Senate by a vote of 28-3.
The proposition conflicted with the provisions of Proposition 62 on the same ballot, which provided for a "modified blanket" primary system like that used in the state of Louisiana. 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. Proposition 62 did not pass, so the issue was moot.
The proposition originally contained additional provisions regarding surplus state property. In a court decision in July 2004, these portions were transferred to a separate ballot measure, Proposition 60A.
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| Section 5:
(a) The Legislature shall provide for primary elections for partisan offices, including an open presidential primary whereby the candidates on the ballot are those found by the Secretary of State to be recognized candidates throughout the nation or throughout California for the office of President of the United States, and those whose names are placed on the ballot by petition, but excluding any candidate who has withdrawn by filing an affidavit of noncandidacy.
(b) A political party that participated in a primary election for a partisan office has the right to participate in the general election for that office and shall not be denied the ability to place on the general election ballot the candidate who received, at the primary election, the highest vote among that party’s candidates.
Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The question on the ballot was:
- "Shall the general election ballot be required to include candidate receiving most votes among candidates of same party for partisan office in primary election?"
- Provides the right for political party participating in a primary election for partisan office to also participate in the general election for that office.
- Candidate receiving most votes from among that party's candidates in primary election for state partisan office cannot be denied placement on general election ballot.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 60. That estimate was:
- No fiscal effect.
The campaigns for and against Proposition 60 had lopsided warchests. The "Yes on 60" group spent about $132,000 while the "No on 60" group spent about $5.5 million in a futile attempt to stop the ballot measure from passing.
Groups that donated to the effort to stop Proposition 60 included:
- Countrywide Home Loans: $450,000
- Rebecca Q. Morgan: $350,000
- John Walton: $350,000
- Steven Westly: $255,000
- Charles Munger, Jr.: $200,000
- Nancy Munger: $200,000
- Jerrold Perenchio: $200,000
Path to the ballot
Proposition 60 was voted onto the ballot by the California State Legislature via Senate Constitutional Amendment 18 of the 2003–2004 Regular Session (Resolution Chapter 103, Statutes of 2004).
|Votes in legislature to refer to ballot|
- Official Voter Guide to Proposition 60
- LAO analysis of Proposition 60
- November 2004 election results from the California Secretary of State
- Campaign spending on Proposition 60
- Guide to Proposition 60 from the California Voter Foundation
- Analysis of Proposition 60 from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- PDF of the mailed November 2, 2004 voter guide for Propositions 59, 60, 60A, 61-64, 66-72