Political consultant Leo McElroy describes Proposition 40 like
this, "Probably one of the most
extreme misadventures we've seen for the California Republican
Here's the back-story. Voters created the Citizens'
Redistricting commission to draw California's political lines. But
when the maps came out last year, some Republicans feared they'd
lose a couple of seats in the state Senate. So they put prop. 40 on
the ballot. It's a referendum that seeks to throw out the current
But along the way, the State Supreme Court upheld the
commission's districts. And the Republicans behind prop. 40
abandoned it, saying that with the court's action, the measure was
no longer needed.
Now here's where it gets tricky. A "yes" vote upholds
the current maps. A "no" vote rejects them. McElroy
says that's confusing for some people, "You're going to
have a bunch of people vote no on this, just on general principles
that they vote no on anything that they don't
That worries Stan Forbes, who chairs the Citizens'
Redistricting Commission,"It's very concerning that you've got
this long ballot and if people don't know the issue, the default
vote is typically no."
Forbes wants people to remember that instead of lawmakers
drawing their own lines, the commission held 30 public hearings and
considered 20,000 public comments in crafting the districts,"I
think that the public should vote yes on this, because this is
really a culmination of what they created and to vote against our
maps would really be to vote against themselves."
Forbes says even though prop 40's supporters have abandoned
it, it's only fair that voters weigh in, since hundreds of
thousands of Californians signed a petition to get the referendum
on the ballot.