Head Spinning About the November Ballot Measures? Get the Facts!

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(San Francisco) – Unsure about how to vote on Proposition 25, the ballot measure that would change the state budget vote from a two-thirds vote to a simple majority? What about Proposition 19, the ballot measure to legalize marijuana in California?

A newly updated, interactive website aims to help Californians step into the voting booth with more information and confidence in November. The website, www.californiachoices.org, is a nonpartisan clearinghouse for state governance reform issues. It features in-depth information about each of the nine statewide November ballot measures, including endorsement information, polling data, campaign finance information, pro and con arguments for each measure, video clips from supporters and opponents, and much more. It also includes a tool that allows users to share how they are voting with friends and family. 

California Choices is a joint project by the nonpartisan research organization, Next 10, and Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West in conjunction with the Institute of Governmental Studies at University of California, Berkeley and the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State.

“Californians have nine ballot measures to consider—many of which have a direct impact on how our state is governed. If you’re unsure about how to vote in November, you’re in good company,” said F. Noel Perry, Next 10’s Founder. “Considering the serious challenges and potential sweeping reforms we’re contemplating in California this election year, it is no surprise that a large percentage of voters have not made up their minds. Our goal is to arm voters with both facts and context for this year’s ballot initiatives.”

The California Choices endorsement page, featuring policy positions by 60 major organizations representing all political stripes and colors and allowing users to share their own endorsements via email, has quickly become the most widely-viewed page on the website. It is a one-stop-shop for users to see the ballot measures that some of the most influential organizations, newspapers, political parties and unions as well as the two front-running candidates for Governor of California endorse. Organizations included in the California Choices endorsement page include the AARP, California Chamber of Commerce, Consumer Federation of America, California Farm Bureau and many others.

"California government is unique in the extent to which fundamental reforms in governance and public policy are made through the initiative process.  This process often is murky as ordinary voters are forced to decipher the substance and the politics of very complex issues,” said Jack Citrin, Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. “Providing information and analysis about these initiatives, their relationship to each other, and their potential consequences for how the state is governed is a vital public service and so this website is an important contribution to deliberation and civic education."

“Californians have a huge stake in this year’s election,” said David M. Kennedy, Co-Director of The Bill Lane Center for the American West and Pulitzer Prize winning historian. “The ballot measures now up for consideration have the power to directly impact our future economic growth, the health of our environment, our taxes and even the way we vote in future elections.”

The California Choices website features an interactive tool, which allows users to share their ballot measure choices with others via email or Facebook. Email and Facebook message recipients are invited to visit the California Choices website and make their own selections.

Get updates on California election news from California Choices via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/California-Choices/269269218494 and Twitter (http://twitter.com/cachoices).