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Politics

Voters urged to study crowded November ballot

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Governor Brown made sure Proposition 30 is the first thing on the ballot. It calls for temporary increases in sales and income taxes.

The rest of the initiatives deal with the state budget, political contributions by unions, auto insurance, the death penalty, human trafficking, three strikes, genetically engineered foods, an education tax, clean drinking water, and a referendum to undo the changes made to the State Senate Districts. That last one is tricky. Voting No means you approve.

Liz Shields of the League of Women Voters says voters can get confused. She said, "I think the problem is it is overwhelming initially and I think one thing voters need to understand is they don't have to vote for every proposition if they don't understand it."

How do you understand them? Shields suggests voters start studying the issues now and be wary of misinformation. She said, "People should not rely on the advertising, either on the radio or television or so forth because those ads are put forward by people who have a particular point of view."

In addition to those state propositions the Fresno County Ballot will include Measure B, a proposal to extend the 1/8th cent library tax. It will be listed after those state measures. County Librarian Laurel Pysiazny wants voters to find it on the bottom of the ballot first. She said, "The whole idea is to get people to go to the bottom because after a while if you are saying yes or no you get tired, you know, voter fatigue and our concern is people get to the local ones that count."

In addition the Fresno County Elections Office is expecting several local ballot measures following Measure B will appear on the already long ballot. County Clerk Brandi Orth says the standard fourteen inch ballot may not be long enough. She said, "There's a chance we will have to go to a seventeen inch ballot, a longer ballot. We hope not because it just kind of makes it harder for everybody."

The final ballot size won't be determined until after August 10th. That's the deadline for candidates, and local initiatives to be submitted for the November election.

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jerry brown, politics, gene haagenson
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