California elections, 2009

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The California state special elections, 2009 were held on May 19, 2009 throughout the state of California. The elections were authorized by the State Legislature and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a part of a budget signed into law on February 19, 2009. Voters voted on six ballot propositions, 1A through 1F, for the open 26th State Senate district seat, and in a primary for the open 32nd congressional district seat. All of the propositions except 1F were defeated.

Background[edit]

In February 2009 the State Legislature narrowly passed the 2008–2009 state budget during a special session, months after it was due. As part of the plan to lower the state's annual deficits, the State Legislature ordered a special election with various budget reform ballot propositions.[1]

Propositions[edit]

Proposition 1A[edit]

2009 CA special - 1A.svg

Proposition 1A was a constitutional amendment that would have increased the annual contributions to the state's rainy day fund.

Proposition 1A[2]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 3,152,141 65.39%
Yes 1,668,216 34.61%
Valid votes 4,820,357 98.94%
Invalid or blank votes 51,588 1.06%
Total votes 4,871,945 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 17,153,012 28.40%

Proposition 1B[edit]

2009 CA special - 1B.svg

Proposition 1B would have secured additional funding for primary education, but only if Proposition 1A passed as well.

Proposition 1B[2]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 2,975,560 61.86%
Yes 1,834,242 38.14%
Valid votes 4,809,802 98.72%
Invalid or blank votes 62,143 1.28%
Total votes 4,871,945 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 17,153,012 28.40%

Proposition 1C[edit]

2009 CA special - 1C.svg

Proposition 1C was a constitutional amendment that would have made significant changes to the operation of the State Lottery.

Proposition 1C[2]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 3,085,138 64.35%
Yes 1,708,800 35.65%
Valid votes 4,793,938 98.40%
Invalid or blank votes 78,007 1.60%
Total votes 4,871,945 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 17,153,012 28.40%

Proposition 1D[edit]

2009 CA special - 1D.svg

Proposition 1D would have authorized a one-time reallocation of tobacco tax revenue to help balance the state budget.

Proposition 1D[2]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 3,157,680 65.91%
Yes 1,633,107 34.09%
Valid votes 4,790,787 98.33%
Invalid or blank votes 81,158 1.67%
Total votes 4,871,945 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 17,153,012 28.40%

Proposition 1E[edit]

2009 CA special - 1E.svg

Proposition 1E would have authorized a one-time reallocation of income tax revenue to help balance the state budget.

Proposition 1E[2]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 3,169,163 66.48%
Yes 1,597,907 33.52%
Valid votes 4,767,070 97.85%
Invalid or blank votes 104,875 2.15%
Total votes 4,871,945 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 17,153,012 28.40%

Proposition 1F[edit]

2009 CA special - 1F.svg

Proposition 1F prohibited pay raises for members of the State Legislature, the Governor, and other state officials during deficit years.

Proposition 1F[2]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 3,565,419 74.23%
No 1,237,694 25.77%
Valid votes 4,803,113 98.59%
Invalid or blank votes 68,832 1.41%
Total votes 4,871,945 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 17,153,012 28.40%

Opinion polling[edit]

Field Poll: March 3, 2009

Among likely voters:

Proposition Yes No
1A 57% 21%
1B 53% 30%
1C 47% 39%
1D 54% 24%
1E 57% 23%
1F 77% 13%

SurveyUSA Poll: March 11–12, 2009 (commissioned by KABC-TV, KFSN-TV, KGTV-TV, and KPIX-TV)

Among likely voters:

Proposition Yes No
1A 27% 29%
1B 38% 30%
1C 28% 29%
1D 40% 28%
1E 36% 30%
1F 27% 31%

PPIC Poll: March 25, 2009

Among likely voters:

Proposition Yes No
1A 39% 46%
1B 44% 41%
1C 37% 50%
1D 48% 36%
1E 47% 37%
1F 81% 13%

SurveyUSA Poll: April 20–21, 2009 (commissioned by KABC-TV, KFSN-TV, KGTV-TV, and KPIX-TV)

Among likely voters:

Proposition Yes No
1A 29% 42%
1B 37% 42%
1C 23% 41%
1D 37% 39%
1E 32% 41%
1F 32% 34%

Field Poll: April 29, 2009

Among likely voters:

Proposition Yes No
1A 40% 49%
1B 40% 49%
1C 32% 59%
1D 40% 49%
1E 40% 51%
1F 71% 24%

26th State Senate district special election[edit]

A special election to fill the 26th district of the State Senate was called by Governor Schwarzenegger on December 10, 2008 as a consequence of the resignation of former State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas following his election to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. A special primary election was held on March 24, 2009, and the special election was held on May 19, 2009.[3]

Candidates[edit]

A total of eight candidates registered for the special election, but only three qualified for the special election:[4]

Democratic[edit]

Peace and Freedom[edit]

  • Cindy Variela Henderson, a communications technician

Republican[edit]

  • Nachum Shifren, an educator

Primary election[edit]

An open primary election for the special election was held on March 24, 2009. Since no candidate won a majority, the candidates with the top votes for each party advanced to the special general election. Price won more votes than any other Democrat while Shifren and Henderson were the only candidates of their parties.[5]

California's 26th State Senate district special primary, 2009[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Curren Price 10,864 35.84%
Democratic Mike Davis 6,471 21.35%
Democratic Robert Cole 4,160 13.72%
Republican Nachum Shifren 3,371 11.12%
Democratic Jonathan Friedman 2,497 8.24%
Democratic Saundra Davis 2,262 7.46%
Peace and Freedom Cindy Henderson 525 1.73%
Democratic Mervin Evans 165 0.54%
Valid votes 30,315 98.19%
Invalid or blank votes 558 1.81%
Totals 30,873 100.00%
Voter turnout 7.91%

Special election[edit]

In the special runoff election, Democratic Curren Price won by a large margin, beating Republican Nachum Schifren and Peace and Freedom Party candidate Cindy Henderson.[6]

California's 26th State Senate district special election, 2009[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Curren Price 37,677 70.72%
Republican Nachum Shifren 11,097 20.83%
Peace and Freedom Cindy Henderson 4,501 8.45%
Valid votes 53,275 83.24%
Invalid or blank votes 10,726 16.76%
Totals 64,001 100.00%
Voter turnout 18.59%
Democratic hold

32nd congressional district special primary election[edit]

A special election to fill the 32nd congressional district was called by Governor Schwarzenegger on March 10, 2009 as a consequence of the resignation of former Congresswoman Hilda Solis following her appointment as United States Secretary of Labor. The special primary election was May 19, 2009 while the special election was held on July 14, 2009.[7] The election was won by Democrat Judy Chu, who became the first Chinese American woman elected to serve in Congress.

Primary election[edit]

In the May 19 primary, Democrat Judy Chu led all candidates, but failed to gain enough to prevent a runoff general election. Betty Chu qualified as the Republican candidate for the runoff and Christopher Agrella qualified as the Libertarian.[2]

California's 32nd congressional district special primary, 2009[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Judy Chu 17,661 32.64%
Democratic Gil Cedillo 12,570 23.23%
Democratic Emanuel Pleitez 7,252 13.40%
Republican Betty Chu 5,648 10.44%
Republican Teresa Hernandez 4,581 8.47%
Republican David Truax 3,303 6.10%
Democratic Francisco Alonso 1,097 2.03%
Libertarian Christopher Agrella 654 1.21%
Democratic Benita Duran 659 1.22%
Democratic Stefan Lysenko 246 0.45%
Democratic Nick Mostert 244 0.45%
Democratic Rafael Nadal 200 0.37%
Republican Larry Scarborough (write-in) 1 0.00%
Valid votes 54,116 94.57%
Invalid or blank votes 3,106 5.43%
Totals 57,222 100.00%
Voter turnout 26.21%

Special election[edit]

In the special runoff election, Democratic Judy Chu won by a significant margin, beating Republican Betty Chu and Libertarian candidate Christopher Agrella.[8]

California's 32nd congressional district special election, 2009[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Judy Chu 16,194 61.85%
Republican Betty Chu 8,630 32.96%
Libertarian Christopher Agrella 1,356 5.18%
Independent Eleanor Garcia (write-in) 2 0.01%
Valid votes 26,182 98.99%
Invalid or blank votes 267 1.01%
Totals 26,449 100.00%
Voter turnout 10.79%
Democratic hold

References[edit]