How We Elect Our Leaders

Reform measure that has been approved by voters:
Changes to redistricting in Prop.11 passed by California voters in November 2008:

  • Overview of Prop.11 from Institute for Governmental Studies
  • Site of the State Auditor implementing Prop.11
  • Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) information about redistricting
  • California Voter Foundation information about redistricting
  • Article from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) on the effects of minority districts on representation
  • Article from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) on whether or not redistricting can reduce partisanship:

Prop.14 passed by voters in June 2010 establishes a "Top-Two" primary that would allow voters to choose candidates from any party in the primary, with the top candidates moving on to the November election:

  • Overview of Prop.14.
  • Information about Prop.62 (2004), where voters turned down a different version of a “Top-Two” primary system, from the Institute of Government Studies (IGS).
  • On September 13, 2010, a San Francisco Superior Court judge issued a tentative ruling denying a request to block the top-two primary system created under Prop.14. Read more.
  • Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) article about open primaries.
  • LA Times article explaining that open primaries could be a step in the right direction.
  • The New America Foundation is cautious of a “Top-Two” primary.
  • San Francisco Chronicle article explaining why State Democrats and Republicans opposed this measure.

Reform measures that have qualified for November 2, 2010 ballot:
Allowing the Citizens Redistricting Commission, established in 2008 in Prop.11, to also draw the U.S. congressional district maps every ten years:

  • Information on Prop.20.
  • San Diego Union Tribune article explains that population change in California will cause big changes in U.S. congressional districts.
  • California Common Cause favors Prop.20 over Prop.27.
  • The Rose Institute explains why many legislators oppose the measure.

A competing initiative that has also qualified for the November 2 ballot, Prop 27 seeks to repeal Prop.11:

  • Information on Prop.27.
  • League of Women Voters California opposes both Prop.20 and Prop.27.
  • Former Assembly Speaker and U.S. House hopeful Karen Bass donates to Prop.27 campaign.
  • Important note about Prop.20 and Prop.27
    Prop.20 and prop.27 have conflicting goals. Prop.20 wants to have the new Citizens Redistricting Commission (formed by Prop.11) do all the redistricting. Prop.27 wants to eliminate the commission and have the Legislature do all the redistricting. If voters approve both propositions, only the one with more YES votes will go into effect.

    Reform measure that has qualified for the next statewide election:
    Modify term limits to allow legislators to spend 12 rather than 14 years in office, but allow them to spend all of their careers in a single house of legislature:

    • For more information about this measure click here.
    • Click here to learn more about how term limits have affected California's legislature.
    • Information about Prop.93 (2008), where voters turned down changes to term limits, from the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS)