A Stanford Voter’s Guide to the California Midterms

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More than 40% of your grade is at stake this season.

This year, you and more than three-quarters of California’s registered voters have the opportunity to vote on issues such as 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 watching Prop 27 ads, it’s finally time to vote in a year with one of the highest midterm registrations on record in California.

We know you’ve been busy with your high school studies lately. We’re here to help you catch up. The Journal collected the most important information for this season’s campaigns and each of the seven propositions on the ballot this fall.


Prop 1 guarantees abortion rights in the state constitution
In response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to strike down abortion protections in Roe v. Wade, Proposition 1 would have amended the state constitution to provide a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, including the right to have an abortion and to choose or refuse contraception.

Prop 26 Sports Betting in Tribal Casinos
Proposition 26 would legalize sports betting at tribal gaming casinos and licensed racetracks in California, requiring tribes to support the regulatory costs of sports betting 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 betting outside of tribal lands. The proposal includes a new state agency that will regulate online sports betting. Subsequent revenues would be directed to the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account and the Tribal Economic Development Account.

Prop 28 Funding of art and music schools
Proposition 28 would provide additional state general fund funding — about one billion — for arts and music education in K-12 public schools, including charter schools. The proposal would constitutionally require this amount of funding for community colleges and public schools.

Prop 29 Introduce new rules for dialysis clinics
Proposition 29 would enact staffing requirements, reporting requirements, ownership disclosure and closure requirements for chronic dialysis clinics. The proposal would affect 80,000 Californians with kidney failure who need dialysis three times a week to clean their blood.

Prop 30 tax millionaires for electric vehicle programs
In an effort to reduce air pollution and prevent wildfires, Proposition 30 would raise the personal income tax above $2 million by 1.75% and dedicate the revenue to zero-emission vehicle initiatives and wildfire prevention programs.

Prop 31 Ban flavored tobacco
The 2020 referendum bill banning 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 enhancers.


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

Dahle’s priorities include gas and energy prices, which include repealing the gas tax, promoting pro-life policies and reducing the cost of living. Newsom campaigned to expand abortion rights in California, phase out gas-powered cars and invest in climate change, along with projects to improve the Democratic Party’s messaging ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

The race for California lieutenant governor is between incumbent Eleni Kounalakis (D) and bank manager Angela Underwood Jacobs (R). Kounalakis, the first woman elected governor of California, said she is committed to keeping more in-state students at the University of California and California State University schools, phasing out offshore drilling and strengthening abortion rights in the state. Underwood Jacobs, a city council member in Lancaster County, Los Angeles, is the underdog in the race, advocating for tax cuts, a tougher approach to crime and curbing homelessness.

Attorney General
Incumbents Rob Bonta (D) and Nathan Hochman (R) are vying to lead the state’s top law enforcement agency. Bonta, the first Filipino-American attorney general in California, prioritized the prevention of gun violence and the establishment of a “standard of conduct in the firearms industry.” Hochman accused Bonta of pushing criminal justice policies that veered too far to the left, believing it made Bonta a threat to public safety. As such, Hochman is also promoting increased penalties for fentanyl dealers and the initiation of a statewide human trafficking task force. Both candidates support broad reproductive rights.

Secretary of State
California Secretary of State will pit Robert Bernosky (R) against incumbent Shirley N. Weber (D). Both Bernosky — the CFO — and Weber favor providing citizens with evidence of “clean” and “fair elections,” as the Secretary of State’s election office houses election data archives. While Bernosky is advocating for the Secretary of State’s office to become more customer service oriented, Weber is pushing for more accessible voting and increased voter participation.

Head of Public Instruction
In this nonpartisan race, incumbent Tony Thurmond is running against Lance Christensen, an education policy executive. Thurmond joins the plant following controversy that grew after former employees reported poor management and a toxic work environment. Its main priorities include addressing the lack of staff in schools, providing pre-school education and ensuring access to universal school meals. Christensen’s platform emphasizes increasing school choice and reducing the bureaucracy of the “California Department of Education” by giving students and parents more voice.

California’s 18th Congressional District
In the congressional race — where Stanford is located — incumbent Zoe Lofgren (D) faces Peter Hernandez (R). Lofgren, who is seeking her 14th consecutive term, has advocated for a number of reforms, including education reform, and pushed for energy policies that grow the US economy. Hernandez seeks to restore public safety, restore parents’ rights to their children’s education, and revitalize the middle class, specifically small businesses.

California’s 24th state assembly district
In Stanford’s Assembly District, small business owner Bob Brunton (R) is seeking to unseat incumbent Alex Lee (D). Calling himself the “common sense candidate,” Brunton has taken a traditional Republican stance, cutting sales and gas taxes and easing college student debt. Lee’s priorities include single-payer healthcare legislation and laws limiting and regulating the use of force by law enforcement.


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