Associated Press Published 2:01 p.m. PT Nov. 4, 2020 | Updated 11:53 p.m. PT Nov. 5, 2020
Uber and Lyft decals are shown on a vehicle at Palm Springs International Airport on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 in Palm Springs, Calif.(Photo: Vickie Connor/The Desert Sun)
Access to Uber and Lyft rides proved to be important to California voters Tuesday, but raising property taxes on commercial properties in the statewas narrowly defeated in one of the most hotly contested of 12 state propositions.
Voters also gave a huge defeat to an attempt to require certified doctors at kidney dialysis clinics and also rejected anattempt to re-establish affirmative action in hiring in California.
Following are results as of Thursday at 5 p.m. as reported by the California Secretary of State.
Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride-hailing and delivery services spent $200 million in a winning bet on Proposition 22 to circumvent California lawmakers and the courts to preserve their business model by keeping drivers from becoming employees eligible for benefits and job protections.
The titans of the so-called gig economy bankrolled the most expensive ballot measure in state history, which was decided Tuesday with 58.5% of voters choosing to keep drivers classified as independent contractors able to set their own hours.
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The outcome was a defeat for labor unions that had pushed for a state law aimed directly at Uber and Lyft, mandating they provide drivers with protections like minimum wage, overtime, health insurance and reimbursement for expenses.
Supporters of Proposition 22 said the outcome showed voters wanted to preserve the flexibility of the current system. Opponents said the companies had bought their own law and vowed to continue fighting for drivers' rights.
A ballot measure to partially dismantle Californias longtime system of tying property taxes to the last sales price appears to have lost byjust over 400,000 among the 11.5 million ballots cast. No votes on Proposition 15 garnered 51.8%of the votes.
The measure would have reassessed commercial and industrial properties every three years. Residential property would have remained under current rules. Since a 1978 ballot measure Proposition 13 sparked a national outcry for tax cuts and helped pave Gov. Ronald Reagans path to the White House, California has limited tax increases to 2% a year for inflation until a property is sold.
Supporters saidasplit-roll system would go a long way toward fixing inequities that shield wealthy corporations, depriving property tax proceeds for schools and local governments.
Opponents called it a massive tax increase that will cripple businesses in a pandemic-wracked economy. Their advertising portrayedit as a step toward completely dismantling the system established under 1978's Proposition 13, even though supporters disavowed plans to change how residential property is assessed.
A ballot measure to reinstate affirmative action in California government saw a 56.1% No vote Tuesday. Public polling had indicated that Proposition 16 was struggling, suggesting that voters were not inclinedto repeal a quarter-century-old ban on affirmative action in the state.
A national awakening on race drove a well-funded campaign to reinstate preferential treatment based on race and gender in public hiring, contracting and college admissions. Supporters said such programs are critical to undoing generations of systemic racism and sexism. Opponents said merit alone should determine whether someone gets a job or gets accepted into college.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris backedthe effort. Opponents saidthe government should treat every person equally, and never use race, ethnicity or gender to promote or discriminate against an individual.
The biggest margin of victory on the night belonged to No votes on Proposition 23, the second ballot measure on kidney dialysis in the state in as many elections. Voters rejected the ballot measure to require a doctor or highly trained nurse at each of Californias 600 dialysis clinics, with "no" votes taking64%.
The measure drew more than $110 million in spending. Supporters said a doctor is needed at clinics whenever the states 80,000 dialysis patients are being treated to make sure they get quality care. Opponents, financed by dialysis clinic companies, said the measure would have created a financial burden that could lead some clinics to close.
Proposition 23 was the second attempt by the unions to increase regulation of dialysis clinics in California, where DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care two of the countrys largest for-profit dialysis providers operate about three-quarters of the states dialysis market.
California voters also voted to maintain the status quo on criminal justice. They rejected an attempt to eliminate cash bail, with Proposition 25 losing with 55.5% of thevotes cast as No.
On Proposition 20, which would have scaled back two earlier ballot measures approved by voters in 2014 and 2016, about 62% of voters were opposed. The proposition would again bar those convicted of certain serious offenses from earlier release and increase penalties for repeated retail thefts.
By rejecting Proposition 25, voters in the most populous state overturned a 2018 law that stalled when the bail industry challenged it at the ballot box through the proposition.Supporters of the change had said the traditional bail system punishes the poor often racial minorities because they lack the money to buy their freedom or can least afford to pay a bail bondsman.Opponents included some prominent civil rights groups who said the alternatives risk assessment tools also are racially and socioeconomically biased.
A proposition that would keep alive Californias first-of-its-kind stem cell research program appears to have won in a tight race. Proposition 14 saw voters give it 51% Yes votes Tuesday. The measure would authorize a $5.5 billion bond sale to bail out the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which was created by a similar $3 billion bond measure in 2014 but is now nearly broke. With dozens of stem cell research trials underway, supporters say the money is desperately needed. Opponents saidthat in a pandemic-induced economic crisis, California simply cant afford it.
Voters rejected a measure that would have allowed cities to expand rent control. Proposition 21 would have let cities limit rent hikes on properties that are more than 15 years old. No votes led with 59.8% of the vote. Opponents argued that the measure would have discouraged new home construction at a time when its sorely needed. Proponents said the measure was an urgent attempt to slow spiraling rent increases. A recent report said more than half of Californias renters spend over 30% of their incomes on rent.
A measure to expand California's digital privacy law easily won with 56.1% of the voters approving Proposition 24. The measure would update a law approved two years ago that gave Californians the right to know what personal information companies collect about them online. The proposition also would triple the fines for companies that violate kids privacy.
Proponents saidthe measure will strengthen Californias privacy law and help hold big business accountable. Opponents argued that the 52-page initiative was too complicated for voters and its too soon to rewrite a law that just took effect.
California voters appeared to give narrow approval to Proposition 19, which would give Californians 55 or older a big property tax break when buying a new home. To fund that new tax break, the measure would curtail a separate tax break Californians may receive on homes inherited from parents and grandparents.
Yes on Prop. 19 was leading with 51.4% of the vote.
In one of two measures involving voting rights, voters decisively passed a ballot measure restoring the right to vote for felons on parole. Proposition 17 will change the state Constitution to allow an estimated 50,000 felons to vote, with 59% ofvoters approving the measure.
Another voting rights measure, Proposition 18, which would have allowed 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they turn 18 before the general election, was rejected by55.% of voters.
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