Ballot Measure Recap: What 2020's Results Tell Us About Californians' Political Values

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Voter Becky Visconti completes her mail-in ballot at a Ballot Party at a private residence in Laguna Niguel, in Orange County California, October 24, 2018.  (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The majority of California voters may label themselves liberal or progressive, but some of the results of statewide propositions in last week’s election may suggest otherwise. The initiative to repeal a ban on affirmative action failed. California voted to restore voting rights to former felons, but against other criminal justice reforms, like doing away with cash bail. And the effort to hike taxes on commercial properties to fund schools failed. Meanwhile, Californians chose mostly Democratic candidates while voting overwhelmingly to send Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris to the White House. They also sent more Democrats to Sacraento, which will solidify their supermajority in the California Legislature. We’ll discuss the results of the California ballot measures and what they say about where the state stands politically in 2020.


Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Professor of education and political science, University of California, Berkeley

Janelle Salanga, fellow, CalMatters College Journalism Network

David McCuan, professor and chair, department of political science, Sonoma State University