Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Check your ballots: Prop 23 language incorrect in Fresno

Some 140-thousand Fresno voters got the wrong language for a ballot measure that would pause the state's landmark greenhouse gas law - and the Yes campaign ain't happy.

As Proposition 23 came to the ballot, a federal judge altered its language at the insistence (legally speaking, we call it a "civil suit") of Yes on 23 folks. References to "major polluters" were changed to "sources of emissions" - that's the big one (and confusing in and of itself, since the Supreme Court declared greenhouse gases pollutants under the Clean Air Act a few years back) - and “suspends air pollution control laws” was changed to "suspends implementation of air pollution control law [AB 32]."

Except Fresno seems to have had a slight printing problem, and published the "polluters" version.

The yes campaign is getting word out to its supporters and anyone on its communications lists with text messages.

The link in the text directs readers to the California Jobs Initiative site where the Yes campaign has created a flyer for voters to check and see that ballots include the judge-approved language.

The Yes folks are looking to use crowdsourcing to identify any other errors as well -  either in absentee ballots or in polling places November 2nd.

Spokeswoman for the Yes campaign, Anita Mangels, called the situation "very troublesome."

Lawyers for the Yes on 23 campaign first wrote to Fresno County and asked the registrar to reprint ballots: 

Is the mistake an automatic lawsuit from the Yes on 23 side? Not necessarily. But plenty of people live in Fresno - and the region's relative redness might be one reason 23 backers are demanding vigilance from all counties now. From the Sac Bee account:

"What has happened is that in Fresno County, like many of the counties, we are experiencing a budgetary crisis. As a result, we've lost staffing, so with many more tasks to do and fewer people, this wasn't caught. It was an oversight," he said.
I wish I could get a head count: how many of you out there just look at the question next to each proposition in the voting booth and wing it? Of course, the people who would admit it don't read this blog. But I wish you did!