For the 2008 elections, a confluence of events caused legislators and the governor to support an early presidential primary in California. There was the whole “California as an ATM” and wanting to get our say, which I guess was part of it. And, you know, there was also the initiative to change the legislative term limits.
That measure failed, but the February election is still officially on the books. For a number of reasons, that could be a progressive nightmare. Few Democrats would show up, but it would still be a full statewide vote, with all the initiatives associated with that. It would yield one of the most skewed electorates in recent memory. Oh, and it cost the state at least $10 million to throw that party.
So, now AB 80 (Fong) aims to eliminate that expense:
Californians won’t choose their 2012 presidential nominees until June under legislation that’s heading to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
Assembly Bill 80, by Democratic Assemblyman Paul Fong, would move the presidential primary from February of next year to June, consolidating it with the statewide primary election. The bill was approved by the state Senate on a vote of 34-3.(SacBee)
That 34-3 vote at least indicates that an extra election and the extra expense just wasn’t palatable politically for some of the Republicans as well. At the same time, the Governor will soon have on his desk a measure to basically make the electoral college a quaint annoyance:
California would give all its electoral votes to the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide under legislation that was sent Thursday to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Assembly Bill 459 cleared its final legislative hurdle by passing the Assembly, 51-12, with little Republican support.(SacBee)
Basically, the bill would enter us into a compact so that all of our electoral votes would go to the popular vote winner, but only if a majority of the electoral votes sign on to the compact. Even if Jerry were to sign the bill, another 142 electoral votes worth of states would have to sign on. However, this might just be slow motion electoral reform we are watching.