What’s on the ballot this year?
Mental health, homeless, transportation, and police oversight are hot topics
The 2020 Presidential Election ballot isn’t as complex as some in the past, but there’s enough to take an evening or two studying the candidates and issue. Presidential years are usually the highest turnout elections in the two-year cycle of elections, and 2020 should be no exception except for the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting a large onus on getting voting done by mail. Coupled with difficulties besetting the United States Postal Service from within and without, having the election run smoothly may be problematic.
At the federal level, local voters will choose between incumbent Second District Congressman Mike Thompson, and Republican challenger Scott Giblin.
State Senator Bill Dodd (Senate District 3) is running against Carlos Santamaria, while in the State Assembly, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (Assembly District 4) is running against Matthew L. Nelson, Assemblymember Jim Wood (Assembly District 2) is running against Charlotte Svolos, and Assemblymember Marc Levine (Assembly District 10) is running against Veronica Jacobi.
There are no county positions up for election this November: all three Supervisor races were settled in the March primary, with challenger Chris Coursey unseating Third District Supervisor Shirlee Zane with 52 percent of the vote. Incumbents Susan Gorin (1st) and Lynda Hopkins (5th) both earned well over 50 percent of the votes cast in their races, making a November runoff unnecessary.
Local measuresThere are 19 County measures on the ballot, though our local readers will see just five, since most pertain to local school and other special districts. Those that will appear on local ballots include:
Measure O – County of Sonoma, Mental Health, Addiction and Homeless Services Measure Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance
Measure P – County of Sonoma, The Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO (Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach) Ordinance
Measure Q – City of Santa Rosa Sales Tax Extension (Oakmont only)
Measure Z – Kenwood Fire Protection District, Appropriations Limit Extension (See story, page 2.)
Measure DD – Sonoma County Transportation Authority, Go Sonoma Act
Explanations of each of these measures may be seen and downloaded in pdf format from the Registrar’s office, at sonomacounty.ca.gov/CRA/Registrar-of-Voters/Elections/11-03-2020/Measures/
State measuresThere are 12 state measures on the ballot. As listed at the Registrar’s office, they are:
Prop. 14 – Authorizes bonds to continue funding stem cell and other medical research. Initiative statute.
Prop. 15 – Increases funding for public schools, community colleges, and local government services by changing tax assessment of commercial and industrial property. Initiative constitutional amendment.
Prop. 16 – Allows diversity as a factor in public employment, education, and contracting decisions. Legislative constitutional amendment.
Prop. 17 – Restores right to vote after completion of prison term. Legislative constitutional amendment.
Prop. 18 – Amends California constitution to permit 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections if they will turn 18 by the next general election and be otherwise eligible to vote. Legislative constitutional amendment.
Prop. 19 – Changes certain property tax rules. Legislative constitutional amendment.
Prop. 20 – Restricts parole for non-violent offenders. Authorizes felony sentences for certain offenses currently treated only as misdemeanors. Initiative statute.
Prop. 21 – Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential property. Initiative statute.
Prop. 22 – Changes employment classification rules for app-based transportation and delivery drivers. Initiative statute.
Prop. 23 – Authorizes state regulation of kidney dialysis clinics. Establishes minimum staffing and other requirements. Initiative statute.
Prop. 24 – Amends consumer privacy laws. Initiative statute.
Prop. 25 – Referendum to overturn a 2018 law that replaced money bail system with a system based on public safety risk.
All of these are explained in more detail at the state elections website at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/qualified-ballot-measures/