A sixth measure has now officially qualified for the November ballot after it was announced May 10th that a proposal to curb sex slavery and other forms of human trafficking will appear on fall’s ballot. Proponents met the threshold of collecting at least 504,760 valid signatures. The initiative has primarily been funded, at least in the initial stages, by Chris Kelly, a former Facebook chief privacy officer and an unsuccessful candidate for Attorney General.
The official ballot title and summary are as follows:
“Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
Increases criminal penalties for human trafficking, including prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000. Fines collected to be used for victim services and law enforcement. Requires person convicted of trafficking to register as sex offender. Requires sex offenders to provide information regarding Internet access and identities they use in online activities. Prohibits evidence that victim engaged in sexual conduct from being used against victim in court proceedings. Requires human trafficking training for police officers. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential one-time local government costs of up to a few million dollars on a statewide basis, and lesser additional costs incurred each year, due to the new mandatory training requirements for certain law enforcement officers. Minor increase to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising human trafficking offenders. Unknown amount of additional revenue from new criminal fees, likely not to exceed the low millions of dollars annually, which would fund services for human trafficking victims.
The June 5th Primary is drawing near and this is the first statewide election conducted under the new rules of the Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act. Secretary Bowen, the state’s chief elections officer, commented, “From a voter’s perspective, the new top-two primary law actually simplifies the process and offers more choices. While voters still must select just one candidate for each office under the top-two primary, they get to choose from the entire pool of candidates running for each office instead of just a portion based on their political party preference.”
So as a voter, what do you need to know about the new system? Here’s a good summary from the Secretary of State’s Office: “Under the new top-two primary system, what used to be known as party-nominated offices are now called voter-nominated offices. Again, other than presidential, county central committees and local offices, all candidates running in a primary election for voter-nominated offices – regardless of their party preference – will appear on a single primary election ballot, and people can vote for any candidate. The top two overall vote-getters (not the top vote-getter from each qualified political party) will move on to the November 6 General Election. Even if there are only two candidates in the primary, a general election is still required
Millions of Californians have already begun casting their ballots despite the fact that the primary is not until June 5 due to the popularity of mail-in ballots.
Here’s some important dates you need to know:
The last day to register to vote in the June 5 primary election is May 21
The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is May 29
Since our last update, the Secretary of State has announced the following updates:
1532. (11-0059) Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute. Qualified for the November 6, 2012, General Election.
1574. (11-0100) Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute. Initiative Pending Signature Verification.
1583. (12-0010) Prevents Issuance of Future High-Speed Rail Bonds. Terminates High-Speed Rail Project. Initiative Statute. New Initiative Cleared for Circulation.
12-0011, Amdt. #1S "College and University Funding and Accountability Act." Initiative Withdrawn from Pending Review by Attorney General.
1550. (11-0080) Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
Initiative Pending Signature Verification.
1570. (11-0099) Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Inititative Statute. Initiative Pending Signature Verification.
1557. (11-0082) Limits on Hospital Charges. Initiative Statute. Initiative Failed to Qualify
1556. (11-0081) Nonprofit Hospitals. Required Minimum Charity Care. Initiative Statute. Initiative Failed to Qualify
1526. (11-0049) Prohibits Abortions for Females Under 18 Without Parental Notification and Waiting Period. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Initiative Failed to Qualify
1525. (11-0048) Prohibits Abortions for Females Under 18 Without Parental Notification. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Initiative Failed to Qualify
1518. (11-0040) Reduced Marijuana Penalties. Initiative Statute. Initiative Failed to Qualify
1512. (11-0035) Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute. Qualified for the November 6, 2012, General Election.
It’s official: A fifth measure has qualified for the November ballot. The newest addition, if approved, would repeal the death penalty in the state of California and replace the punishment with life imprisonment for the most serious offenses. A coalition that includes the American Civil Liberties Union and some law enforcement and victims’ rights groups are all supporters of the measure. Critics of the death penalty note that it costs the state more than $100 million a year while leading to very few executions.
The death penalty repeal initiative needed at least 555,236 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it exceeded that threshold.
The official ballot title and summary are as follows:
DEATH PENALTY REPEAL. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to persons already sentenced to death. Requires persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them. Creates $100 million fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net savings to the state and counties that could amount to the high tens of millions of dollars annually on a statewide basis due to the elimination of the death penalty. One-time state costs totaling $100 million from 2012-13 through 2015-16 to provide funding to local law enforcement agencies.
This November voters in California will officially have the opportunity to decide whether the death penalty should continue to be enforced. The measure does have one notable supporter: Governor Jerry Brown. The state’s leader announced he was pleased it had qualified for the ballot, but he avoided saying how exactly he would vote.
Brown stated, “I think it gives people a chance to express themselves on a very, very important issue, so yeah, sure, I think it will be a good thing. Just like I think it's a good thing that people get a chance to vote on taxes. Death and taxes are things we can't avoid, so it's good that people get to weigh in occasionally. […] I'm not going to get into a death penalty discussion in May.”
If voters approve the ballot measure, the death penalty will be replaced with life sentences. Supporters contend it will save the state millions.
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