Here's Your Non-Partisan Voter Guide to the 2020 California Primary

US-POLITICS-VOTE

US-POLITICS-VOTE

The California presidential primary election is March 3. With more than 20.4 million Californians registered to vote as of Jan. 3 (an incredible 80.95% of those eligible to vote) officials are expecting a record turnout next month.

Because there's a lot of things to keep in mind in the run up to casting your vote this year, we've collected a list of important dates and explained the issues you'll see on the ballot in our 2020 California Primary Voter Guide.

Important Dates to remember:

  • The deadline to register online or by mail is Feb. 18. (Voters can also register in the run up to the election or on the same day. Voters will be given a provisional ballot and votes will be counted after officials verify their registration).
  • Last day voters can request a vote-by-mail ballot is Feb. 25.
  • Voters can begin voting at selected Voting Centers across Los Angeles beginning on Feb. 21
  • Voters can begin casting ballots at all Voting Centers across Los Angeles beginning on Feb. 29.
  • Voter Centers/polling stations open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 3.
  • Last day to receive vote-by-mail ballot postmarked no later than March 3, 2020 is March 6

What does it mean if you're registered as a "No Party Preference Voter?"

Voters in California are allowed to register as a 'No Party Preference' (previously known as a 'Decline-to-State), which means they will receive a 'non-partisan' ballot that will not include the presidential candidates running for office. NPP voters can vote in a partisan election if they request the ballot of one of the political parties that allow NPP voters to vote in presidential primaries.

Quick Links:

Voting Solutions for All People

Voters in Los Angeles County can expect big, new things this year as they head to the polls this year. The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters has been approved to deploy an all-new system designed to make voting easier and more secure than ever.

The new ballot marking device, called "Voting Solutions for All People" (or VSAP), allows would-be voters to cast their ballot in the upcoming primary election scheduled for March 3. The easy-to-use touch screen allows voters to adjust text size and contrast or go through the ballot using the audio headset and control pad and voters can even speed up their voting process by pre-selecting candidates and issues prior to arriving at the voting center.

L.A. County residents will see a new way to vote as the county transitions away from polling places to vote centers. Californians will have the opportunity to cast their ballots up to 11 days in advance of the primary election at any vote center location.

While LA county residents can vote at any voting center in the county, you can locate the closest and most convenient one using L.A. County's Vote Center Finder.

Presidential Primary

With a large quantity of delegates up for grabs, the Democratic presidential candidates are making their pitch to voters on why they deserve their party's nomination to take on President Donald Trump in November.

Candidates you'll see on the ballot on March 3 include:

  • Bernie Sanders
  • Joe Biden
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Tom Steyer
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Mosie Boyd
  • Roque De La Fuente III
  • Michael Ellinger
  • Mark Stewart Greenstein

You may see additional names on the ballot, but many of those candidates have already withdrawn from the race.

Propositions

Prop 13 - California Proposition 13, School and College Facilities Bond (March 2020)

A "yes" vote supports this measure to authorize $15 billion in general obligation bonds for school and college facilities, including $9 billion for preschool and K-12 schools, $4 billion for universities, and $2 billion for community colleges.

A "no" vote opposes this measure to authorize $15 billion in general obligation bonds for school and college facilities.

One thing to clear up right out of the gate when discussing Prop 13 - this proposition is completely unrelated to the infamous Prop 13 that passed in 1978, which provided protection to homeowners by capping property taxes. Another proposition set to deal with loopholes in Prop 13 is scheduled to appear on the November ballot.

Instead, the 2020 Prop 13 would provide $15 billion in school bonds. At least $9 billion would be allocated for K-12 public schools, with another $6 billion sent to community colleges and four-year universities. The bonds would be repaid over 35 years using the state's general fund.

Prop 13 also gives developers a break on fees for multi-family housing, like apartments and duplexes as well as for homes constructed near transit stops, like bus stops or train depots.

Some critics say Prop 13 would raise taxes, which is partly true, considering state grants often require the local school to match cash raised through local bonds. Those local bonds are often repaid through higher property taxes.

Local Measures for Los Angeles County

Measure FD: Los Angeles County Fire District Measure FD

Shall an ordinance ensuring local firefighter/​paramedic emergency response, involving house fires, wildfires, heart attacks, strokes, and car accidents, to hire/​train firefighter/​paramedics, upgrade/​replace aging firefighter safety equipment, vehicles, facilities, life-saving rescue tools, and emergency communications technology, by levying 6 cents per square foot of certain parcel improvements, providing $134 million annually, limited to 2% annual adjustment, until ended by voters, exempting low-income seniors, with independent citizens oversight, be adopted?

A"yes" vote supports authorizing the district to levy an annual parcel tax of $0.06 per square foot of structural improvements on property up to 100,000 square feet and excluding parking areas.

A"no" vote opposes authorizing the district to levy an annual parcel tax of $0.06 per square foot of structural improvements on property up to 100,000 square feet and excluding parking areas.

As Southern California dealt with a slew of wildfires in 2018, the Los Angeles County Fire Department found itself overwhelmed as the fires pushed firefighters and their equipment to its limits. That's why the department is asking for a new parcel tax to help fund the hiring of additional firefighters and paramedics, upgrade its equipment and better serve the public. The parcel tax would be 6 cents per square foot on residential and commercial buildings, with the taxable area capped at 100,000 square feet.

The measure requires two-thirds approval by voters to pass.

Measure R: Los Angeles County, California, Measure R, Civilian Police Oversight Commission and Jail Plan Initiative

Shall the measure amending Chapter 3.79 of the Los Angeles County Code to revise the duties and powers of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission to investigate Sheriff-related issues, compel production of records and witnesses, review and evaluate the Office of the Inspector General's handling of complaints, and develop a recommended jail plan, be adopted?

A "yes" vote supports authorizing the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission to develop a plan designed to reduce jail population and incarceration and granting the commission subpoena power to investigate complaints.

A "no" vote opposes authorizing the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission to develop a plan designed to reduce jail population and incarceration and granting the commission subpoena power to investigate complaints.

Measure R was placed on the ballot in part to strengthen civilian oversight over L.A. County's jail system and help it focus on improving psychiatric care, drug treatment and other services for people who are sent to jail.

The measure would improve on previous reforms by giving the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission the power to subpoena witnesses and documents relevant to citizen's or inmate's complaints. The measure also requires the Commission to issue a Comprehensive Public Safety Reinvestment Plan to be presented to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and published to the public seven months after its adoption. The plan must include a feasibility study regarding the plan's implementation, strategies to reduce the county's jail population through mental health treatment, and a timeline and detailed allocation of resources for the plan.

Photo: Getty Images

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