Here's Your Non-Partisan Voter Guide to the 2020 California Primary


The California presidential primary election is March 3. With more than 20.4 million Californians registered to vote as of Jan. 3 (an incredible 80.95% of those eligible to vote) officials are expecting a record turnout next month.

Because there's a lot of things to keep in mind in the run up to casting your vote this year, we've collected a list of important dates and explained the issues you'll see on the ballot in our 2020 California Primary Voter Guide.

Important Dates to remember:

  • The deadline to or by mail is Feb. 18. (Voters can also register in the run up to the election or on the same day. Voters will be given a provisional ballot and votes will be counted after officials verify their registration).
  • Last day voters can request a vote-by-mail ballot is Feb. 25.
  • Voters can begin voting at selected Voting Centers beginning on Feb. 21
  • Voters can begin casting ballots at all Voting Centers beginning on Feb. 29.
  • Voter Centers/polling stations open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 3.
  • Last day to receive vote-by-mail ballot postmarked no later than March 3, 2020 is March 6

What does it mean if you're registered as a "No Party Preference Voter?"

Voters in California are allowed to register as a 'No Party Preference' (previously known as a 'Decline-to-State), which means they will receive a 'non-partisan' ballot that will not include the presidential candidates running for office. NPP voters can vote in a partisan election if they request the ballot of one of the political parties that allow NPP voters to vote in presidential primaries.

Quick Links:

Presidential Primary

With a large quantity of delegates up for grabs, the Democratic presidential candidates are making their pitch to voters on why they deserve their party's nomination to take on President Donald Trump in November.

Candidates you'll see on the ballot on March 3 include:

  • Bernie Sanders
  • Joe Biden
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Tom Steyer
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Mosie Boyd
  • Roque De La Fuente III
  • Michael Ellinger
  • Mark Stewart Greenstein

You may see additional names on the ballot, but many of those candidates have already withdrawn from the race.

Propositions

Prop 13 - California Proposition 13, School and College Facilities Bond (March 2020)

A "yes" vote supports this measure to authorize $15 billion in general obligation bonds for school and college facilities, including $9 billion for preschool and K-12 schools, $4 billion for universities, and $2 billion for community colleges.

A "no" vote opposes this measure to authorize $15 billion in general obligation bonds for school and college facilities.

One thing to clear up right out of the gate when discussing Prop 13 - this proposition is completely unrelated to the infamous Prop 13 that passed in 1978, which provided protection to homeowners by capping property taxes. Another proposition set to deal with loopholes in Prop 13 is scheduled to appear on the November ballot.

Instead, the 2020 Prop 13 would provide $15 billion in school bonds. At least $9 billion would be allocated for K-12 public schools, with another $6 billion sent to community colleges and four-year universities. The bonds would be repaid over 35 years using the state's general fund.

Prop 13 also gives developers a break on fees for multi-family housing, like apartments and duplexes as well as for homes constructed near transit stops, like bus stops or train depots.

Some critics say Prop 13 would raise taxes, which is partly true, considering state grants often require the local school to match cash raised through local bonds. Those local bonds are often repaid through higher property taxes.