Propositions on affirmative action, rent control fail, restoring former felon voting rights passes

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Of the 12 propositions on the ballot, three have been approved by voters and five have failed while the rest remain uncertain, as of press time.

Proposition 17 — Passed

Prop. 17 passed by a vote of 74.7% to 25.3% in Alameda County and 59.0% to 41.0% overall. The proposition will amend the state constitution and allow California parolees, who were disqualified to vote while serving a prison term, to register to vote if they meet state requirements.

“Family members and parents would be able to vote on basic things like who is on the school board and who is making zoning decisions for city council,” Alameda County Democratic Party vice chair Andy Kelley previously told The Daily Californian. “It would franchise more of our voters locally, which we think is a pretty great thing.”

Opponents of Prop. 17, however, said the proposition would negate the idea that the parolees have fully served their sentences.

Proposition 22 — Passed

Prop. 22, a ballot initiative funded by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates, has passed after receiving 58.4% of the total vote. Moving forward, the proposition will exempt app-based drivers from a bill requiring them to be labeled as employees rather than independent contractors.

Supporters of Prop. 22 argued it gives drivers more flexibility to set their own hours around other commitments and switch between companies, while opponents said corporations have purposefully misclassified their employees as independent contractors to cut wages and avoid paying sick leave.

Proposition 24 — Passed

After receiving 56.1% of the vote in California and 57.7% in Alameda County, Prop. 24 passed and will require businesses to protect consumer information on health, finances, race, ethnicity and location. It will also establish a California Privacy Protection Agency to fine business violations.

Advocates argued Prop. 24 was necessary in light of attempts to track location data of Black Lives Matter protesters and people infected with COVID-19. On the other hand, opponents said Prop. 24 forces consumers to jump through hoops to request data deletion.

Proposition 16 — Failed

With 60.3% of the vote in Alameda County but only 43.9% overall, Prop. 16 failed to pass. The proposition would have overturned the earlier Prop. 209 and allowed public employers and universities to consider diversity as a factor in decision-making policies. 

Advocates of Prop. 16 argued the proposition would have helped dismantle racism and sexism in employment, hiring and education, while opponents argued the proposition would allow discrimination by giving underrepresented minorities preferential treatment.

Proposition 20 — Failed

Prop. 20 failed after receiving only 29.2 % of the vote in Alameda County and 37.7% of the overall vote. It would have authorized certain misdemeanors to be chargeable as felonies and limited parole for non-violent offenders. 

The proposition would also create new crime categories, according to advocates. Opponents, however, argued Prop. 20 would have led to excessive prison spending and overly strict penalties. 

Proposition 21 — Failed

Prop. 21 would have expanded local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential properties over 15 years old and limit rent hikes to 15% between tenants. The proposition failed with a vote of 49.5% to 50.5% in Alameda County and 40.2% to 59.8% overall.

While advocates of Prop. 21 said the proposition would protect renters struggling with rising rent costs, opponents feared Prop. 21 would have discouraged construction of affordable housing. 

Proposition 23 — Failed

Prop. 23 failed, after receiving 36.0% of the total vote and 44.9% of the vote in Alameda County. It would have increased regulations on dialysis clinics, requiring providers to have an on-site physician, report data on infections, get state health department consent before closures and not discriminate based on insurance.

While Prop. 23 opponents said it would worsen the doctor shortage and increase health care premiums by increasing clinic costs, supporters said it would help patients safely access care and reduce premiums by requiring clinics to charge the same amount regardless of payment source.

Proposition 25 — Failed

Though Prop. 25 received 58.6% of the vote in Alameda County, the proposition failed after receiving only 44.6% of the total vote. A referendum on Senate Bill 10, Prop. 25 would have replaced cash bail with risk assessments that took into account how much of a threat the defendant would be to public safety and the odds they would flee the jurisdiction prior to the trial.

Supporters of Prop. 25 argued the cash bail system is unequal, while opponents asserted that risk assessment tools could create even more biased outcomes against people of color and burdens police departments to ensure defendants return for trials.

As of press time, outcomes of voting for Propositions 14, 15, 18 and 19 are uncertain.

Contact Maria Young, Catherine Hsu and Kate Finman at [email protected].