A Stanford voter guide to the California midterms

Nov. 1, 2022, 12:55 a.m.

There’s more at stake than 40% of your grade this midterm season.

This year, you and the more than three-quarters of Californians registered to vote have the chance to vote on topics like adding abortion rights to the state constitution, taxing millionaires and legalizing sports betting.

The 2022 midterm elections will be held on Nov. 8 — and after months of seeing Prop 27 ads, it’s finally time to vote during a year with one of the highest registration rates on record for midterm elections in California.

We know you’ve been busy studying for midterms lately. We’re here to help you catch up. The Daily compiled the most important information for this season’s campaigns and each of the seven propositions on the ballot this fall.

Propositions

Prop 1 Guarantee Abortion Rights in State Constitution
In response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion protections in Roe v. Wade, Proposition 1 would amend the state’s constitution to provide a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, including the right to an abortion and to choose or refuse contraceptives.

Prop 26 Sports Betting At Tribal Casinos
Proposition 26 would legalize sports betting at tribal gaming casinos and licensed horseracing tracks in California, requiring tribes to support sports betting regulatory costs at their casinos.

Prop 27 Online Sports Betting
Proposition 27 would legalize mobile sports betting for those 21 years of age or older, allowing online and mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands. The proposition includes a new state unit to regulate online sports betting. The subsequent revenue would be directed to the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account and the Tribal Economic Development Account.

Prop 28 Arts and Music School Funding
Proposition 28 would provide additional funding from the state’s general fund — about one billion — for arts and music education in K-12 public schools, including charter schools. The proposition would make this amount of funding constitutionally required for community colleges and public schools.

Prop 29 Impose New Rules On Dialysis Clinics
Proposition 29 would enact staffing requirements, reporting requirements, ownership disclosure and closing requirements for chronic dialysis clinics. The proposition would affect the 80,000 Californians experiencing kidney failure who need dialysis three times a week to cleanse their blood.

Prop 30 Tax Millionaires For Electric Vehicle Programs
In an effort to reduce air pollution and prevent wildfires, Proposition 30 would increase the tax on personal income above $2 million by 1.75% and dedicates revenue to zero-emission vehicle initiatives and wildfire prevention programs.

Prop 31 Flavored Tobacco Ban
A referendum on the 2020 law prohibiting the sale of certain flavored tobacco products, Proposition 31 would prevent in-person stores and vending machines from selling most flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhances.

Campaigns

Governor
The gubernatorial race in California pits incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom (D) against Brian Dahle (R), a state senator from rural Northern California. While Newsom — pursuing a second, and final, four-year term — has raised nearly $25 million for his campaign and consistently led in the polls, Dahle is little-known.

Dahle’s priorities include gas prices and energy, which include ending the gas tax, advancing pro-life policies and lowering the cost of living. Newsom has campaigned for expanding abortion rights in CA, phasing out the sale of gas-powered cars and investing in climate change, along with projects to improve Democratic Party messaging ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Lieutenant Governor
The race for California Lieutenant Governor is between incumbent Eleni Kounalakis (D) and bank manager Angela Underwood Jacobs (R). Kounalakis, the first woman elected lieutenant governor of California, said she is committed to maintaining more in-state students for the University of California and California State University schools, phasing out off-shore drilling and cementing abortion rights in the state. Underwood Jacobs, a member of the City Council in the Los Angeles county city of Lancaster, is an underdog in this race, advocating for lowering taxes, tougher approaches to crime and reducing homelessness.

Attorney General
Vying to lead the state’s top law enforcement agency are incumbent Rob Bonta (D) and Nathan Hochman (R). Bonta, California’s first Filipino-American attorney general, has prioritized gun violence prevention and establishing a “firearm industry standard of conduct.” Hochman accused Bonta of pushing for criminal justice policies that swing too far left, believing it has caused Bona to jeopardize public safety. As such, Hochman also campaigns for increasing penalties for fentanyl dealers and initiating a statewide task force on human trafficking. Both candidates support broad reproductive rights.

Secretary of State
The California Secretary of State pits Robert Bernosky (R) against incumbent Shirley N. Weber (D). Both Bernosky — a chief financial officer — and Weber prioritize providing citizens with evidence of a “clean” and “fair election,” as the secretary of state’s Election Division contains archives of election data. While Bernosky advocates for the Secretary of State’s office to be more customer service-oriented, Weber advocates for making voting more accessible and increasing voter participation.

Superintendent of Public Instruction
In this nonpartisan race, incumbent Tony Thurmond is running against Lance Christensen, an education policy executive. Thurmond enters the race following controversy that rose after former staff reported mismanagement and toxic work environments. His top priorities include addressing staff shortages in schools, providing preschool education and ensuring access to universal school meals. Christensen’s platform highlights increasing school choice and reducing the “California Department of Education’s bureaucracy” by providing students and parents with a greater voice.

California’s 18th Congressional District
In the congressional race — where Stanford is located — incumbent Zoe Lofgren (D) faces Peter Hernandez (R). Vying for her 14th consecutive term, Lofgren advocates for a variety of reforms including education reform and pushes for an energy policy that grows the U.S. economy. Hernandez seeks to renew public safety, restore parents’ rights to educate their children and revive the middle class, specifically small businesses.

California’s 24th State Assembly District
In Stanford’s assembly district, small business owner Bob Brunton (R) seeks to unseat incumbent Alex Lee (D). Brunton calls himself a “common sense candidate,” taking a traditional Republican position of lowering sale taxes and gas taxes and alleviating debt for college students. Lee’s priorities include single-payer health legislation and bills to limit and regulate the use of force by law enforcement.

Rani is a reporter for The Daily's news section. Contact her at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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