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The Protect and Retain the Majority Vote Act Heads to California Voters

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, the California Legislature passed the Protect and Retain the Majority Act (ACA 13) to send the measure to California voters next year. ACA 13 ensures a simple majority vote remains the threshold for a measure to pass, while also requiring any statewide initiative seeking to increase a threshold to also be approved by the same higher threshold it is proposing.

“I am thrilled to know the Protect and Retain the Majority Vote Act will now be heading to California voters to decide next year,” said Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego). “After careful consideration, ACA 13 will go on the November 2024 ballot when voter participation is historically higher to ensure the broadest representation of our democracy will have their voices heard on this Constitutional issue of fairness.”

Currently, any ballot measure approved by a majority of voters can selectively require a future measure to pass with a supermajority of the vote. This has invited a pattern of abuses by wealthy special interest groups to use the citizen initiative process to undermine the will of the majority. ACA 13 simply requires a measure that seeks to raise a voter threshold to meet that same threshold. For example, if a measure seeks to raise a voter threshold to two-thirds, it must also pass by that margin. ACA 13 does not affect Prop 13 or seek to raise taxes. If approved by voters, ACA 13 would go into effect beginning in 2024 and will stop ongoing gamesmanship for future voters.  

The Protect and Retain the Majority Vote Act also preserves the right of local government to place advisory questions on the ballot to ask voters their opinions on various issues. Cities and counties often place non-binding advisory measures on the ballot to allow voters to weigh in. ACA 13 will protect this critical tool so voters can continue to advise their local elected officials. 

“ACA 13 is about fairness. It protects California voters and local communities, and it stops wealthy corporations from exploiting a double-standard,” said Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas. “We must ensure the majority of voters are always heard at the ballot box."

“We are pleased see ACA 13 pass the Legislature,” said Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director and CEO of the League of California Cities. “It’s a fair, good government constitutional amendment that ensures that voters — and not wealthy corporations or special interest groups — get to decide what is right for their communities.”

“The cornerstone of our democracy is majority rule,” said David Huerta, President of SEIU California and of SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW), “But it has been under attack across the country, including here in California, with supermajority rules designed to give a minority of voters veto power over the majority. ACA 13 is about basic fairness: If you want to require a supermajority with your initiative, then you’ll need a supermajority yourself.”