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How Would You Change California’s Referendum Process?

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Hand putting ballot into a voting box
 (Krisanapong Detraphiphat via Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is considering whether to sign a bill that would change some of the language you see on the referendum portion of your 2024 ballot. AB 421 would ask voters whether they want to “keep the law” or “overturn the law” and eliminate “Yes” or “No” choices. It would also require the top three sponsors of a referendum to appear on the Secretary of State’s voter information guide. But the final legislation is far more modest than its original version, which would have strengthened government oversight of signature collection, mandated more robust disclosures about the funders of referendum campaigns and required unpaid volunteers to obtain at least 10% of petition signatures. Those failed proposals, backed by labor groups, were favored by a majority of likely California voters, according to a June poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. We’ll talk about what you’d like to change about our state’s referendum process and check in on the measures that have already qualified for the 2024 ballot.


Kim Alexander, president and founder, California Voter Foundation

Guy Marzorati, reporter and producer, KQED's California Politics and Government Desk

Mia Bonta, state assemblymember representing the 18th assembly district in the East Bay


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