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Proposition 71 - Effective Date for Ballot Measures

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Primary Elections, June 5, 2018


Under current law, the State Constitution provides that state initiatives and referenda, as well as legislative ballot measures that change the State Constitution, take effect the day after the election unless the ballot measure sets a later effective date.  In most cases, it is clear at the end of Election Day whether a ballot measure has been approved by voters.  In some cases, however, the results are not clear, and millions of ballots are not counted until days or weeks later.

Proposition 71 would specify a later effective date for state ballot measures by specifying that they take effect on the fifth day after the Secretary of State files the statement of the vote.  Therefore, most state ballot measures would take effect about six weeks (no later than 43 days) after the election.

A YES vote on Proposition 71 means most state ballot measures would take effect after the statewide vote has been counted and certified – about six weeks after Election Day.

A NO vote on Proposition 71 means most state ballot measures would continue to take effect the day after Election Day.

Fiscal Impact:

According to the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO), Proposition 71 would have likely little or no effect on state and local finances.

CCC Position:

No position.

Reflections on Church Teaching:

"It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom.  The love and service of one's country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.  Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country."  - Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2239-2240.

"We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern." -  Pope Francis, September 16, 2013.

“It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person. . . . As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1913-1915.