Written July, 2004

Proposition 60

Resolution Chapter 103, Statutes of 2004. Primary Elections. 


California generally holds two statewide elections to elect a candidate to public office—a primary election (in March) and a general election (in November). Some public offices (such as the Governor and members of the Legislature) are partisan, which means that a candidate represents a political party in an election. For partisan offices, the primary election determines each political party’s nominee for the office. The candidate receiving the most votes among a party’s candidates is that party’s nominee for the general election. In the general election, voters then choose among all of the parties’ nominees, as well as any independent candidates, to elect a candidate to office.


Participation in the General Election. This measure places into the State Constitution a requirement that all parties that participate in a primary election be able to advance their top vote-getting candidate to the general election. This requirement is met by the current process for elections as described above.

Related Provisions in Proposition 62. Proposition 62 on this ballot also contains provisions affecting which primary candidates advance to the general election ballot. That measure would require that only the top two vote-getters in the primary—regardless of party identification—advance to the general election. As a result, under Proposition 62, each party would not be guaranteed to have a candidate on the general election ballot. The State Constitution provides that if the provisions of two approved propositions are in conflict, only the provisions of the measure with the higher number of yes votes at the statewide election take effect.

Fiscal Effects

Under current law, all parties that participate in a primary can have their top vote-getting candidate advance to the general election. This measure, therefore, would not require any changes to election procedures. As a result, the measure’s election provisions would have no fiscal effect on state and local governments.

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