In Tuesday’s special election, Californians decided against rainy day funds, borrowing money from the lottery, and education funding.
With over 60 percent of voters shutting down the first five propositions, the only proposition that will go into effect is Prop 1F, which freezes elected officials’ salaries in deficit years. It passed with support from over 70 percent of voters statewide.
Only about 23 percent of registered voters in California voted – about 4 million of the 17 million California registered voters. Similar numbers were found in Yolo County, said Freddie Oakley, Yolo County clerk recorder.
About 26,000 of Yolo County’s 100,000 registered voters – or about 26 percent – cast ballots in Tuesday’s election. Before the election, Oakley had expected an even lower turn out.
UC Davis students may have added to the low turnout, as many students reported not even knowing there was an election.
Oakley said some precincts in the city of Davis had different results, voting yes on propositions that everyone else had voted against. A few Davis precincts reported some of the lowest turnout rates in the county. Precinct 30, which comprises most of the UC Davis campus, only reported 45 ballots, or 3 percent of registered voters.
No matter the numbers, Yolo County, along with the rest of the state, voted no on the first five propositions, a choice that Oakley says will hurt constituents.
“One thing [the California government] is now proposing is to ‘borrow’ two million dollars from counties,” said Oakley. “It’s going to be painful is what it’s going to be.”
More county services are going to receive cuts – again, said Oakley.
“This is going to trickle down to the cities,” said Oakley. “Everyone is going to get hurt.”
California Representative Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, said in a statement that Tuesday’s results show that Californians want the government to step up in fixing the budget crisis.
“California voters sent a clear message to state leaders about how they want our budgetary crisis resolved – by doing our jobs as elected officials and solving our problems through legislative means,” she said in a written statement. “The people … do not want hard-earned tax dollars redirected or wasted.”
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was in Washington, D.C. Wednesday lobbying for flexibility in federal funding rules. The outcome of Tuesday’s special election means the state will have to make even bigger budget cuts to state services.
“Some of the cuts I have proposed to our General Fund are so deep that they violate federal rules for matching funds,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement on Monday.
He emphasized that he was not seeking a bailout.
“I have said all along that California must get its own fiscal house in order – a federal bailout is not an option,” Schwarzenegger said.
Sophomore history and Spanish major Rebecca Streicker-Calle did not vote but said she would have voted against the propositions.
“[The outcome] shows a lack of trust in the government,” she said.
However, she said she realizes the impact of Tuesday’s results may lead to a “lose-lose” situation.
“It’s kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” Streicker-Calle said.
SASHA LEKACH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.