California’s Leftward Lurch At The Ballot Box

mandatory voting

Even though the election was Tuesday, in California Election Day has really become Election Month.

With more and more people applying for absentee ballots, and then waiting until Election Day to drop them in the mail, or bring them to their polling place, it means outcomes of close elections can drag on for some time. In fact, the state’s 58 County elections officials have almost a month, under the law, to have everything counted.

As of today,  millions of ballots have yet to be counted. That said, when looking over the results of the statewide ballot issues, only one is really too close to call.

So what did Californians decide to do with their biennial exercise in direct democracy?

Some of the measures that passed include:

Recreational use of marijuana was made legal, though pretty heavily taxed. Income taxes for the wealthy that were set to expire were extended. New tobacco taxes were passed, to now include vaping as well. Billions in school construction bonds were authorized, and voters narrowly approved a ban on plastic grocery bags. More gun control passed. Legislative transparency, and a controversial measure to relax sentencing of state inmates won the day. A return to bilingual education, and a new fee on hospitals, were green-lighted. Finally, with a margin too slim to call,  a measure to streamline, and make it easier to implement, the death penalty is slightly ahead.

Rejected by voters was a requirement that revenue bonds go to a statewide vote for projects over $2 billion; redirecting paper bag taxes from grocers to environmental purposes; and requiring porn stars to wear condoms. A measure to end the death penalty was put to death. And, finally, a measure to impose price fixing on state purchasing of prescription drugs was defeated.

Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton is running up a huge, though meaningless, lead here, and Attorney General Kamala Harris defeated Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez in a Dem-on-Dem runoff for the United States Senate currently being held by Barbara Boxer, who is retiring.

As of now it appears that Democrats have picked up enough State Assembly seats to have a supermajority in the lower house – but that Republicans will have retained just enough members to block a Democratic supermajority in the upper chamber.

Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor of Breitbart California. A longtime participant, observer and chronicler of California politics, Jon is also the publisher at


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