2020 California elections

The California state elections in 2020 were held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Unlike previous election cycles, the primary elections were held on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020.[2]

2020 California elections

← 2018 November 3, 2020 2022 →
Turnout80.67% (Increase 16.13 pp)[1]

In addition to the U.S. presidential race, California voters elected all of California's seats to the House of Representatives, all of the seats of the State Assembly, and all odd-numbered seats of the State Senate. Neither of the state's two U.S. Senate seats were up for election in 2020.

Pursuant to Proposition 14 passed in 2010, California uses a nonpartisan blanket primary for almost all races, with the presidential primary races being the notable exception. Under the nonpartisan blanket primary system, all the candidates for the same elected office, regardless of respective political party, run against each other at once during the primary. The candidates receiving the most and second-most votes in the primary election then become the contestants in the general election.

President of the United StatesEdit

California, a stronghold for the Democratic Party, has 55 electoral votes in the Electoral College. Joe Biden won with 63% of the popular vote. On December 14, 2020, California cast its electoral votes for Joe Biden.[3]

United States presidential election in California
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Joe Biden 11,110,250 63.48% +1.75
Republican Donald Trump (incumbent) 6,006,429 34.32% +2.70
Libertarian Jo Jorgensen 187,895 1.07% −2.30
Green Howie Hawkins 81,029 0.46% −1.51
American Independent Rocky De La Fuente 60,160 0.34% N/A
Peace and Freedom Charlie Bourbon 51,037 0.29% −0.18
Write-in 4,081 0.02%
Total votes 17,500,881 100.00%
Democratic win

United States House of RepresentativesEdit

There are 53 U.S. Representatives in California that were all up for election. The Democratic Party won 42 seats while the Republican Party won 11 seats. Three districts were gained by the Republican Party: the 21st, 39th, and 48th.

State SenateEdit

The 20 California State Senators in the odd-numbered districts were up for election. Out of the contested seats, Democrats won 17 and Republicans won 3. The resulting composition was 31 Democrats and 9 Republicans. Two districts were gained by the Democratic Party: the 29th and 37th.

State AssemblyEdit

All 80 representatives in the California State Assembly were up for election. The resulting composition was 60 Democrats, 19 Republicans, and one independent. The Republican Party gained the 38th district.


Since the passage of a November 2011 law, only propositions placed on the ballot by the state legislature may appear on the primary ballot, and all qualifying measures placed via petition are automatically moved to the general election ballot.[4]

Primary electionEdit

  • Proposition 13: Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020 (Assembly Bill 48) - Failed
Prop 13 was a $15 billion bond measure to fund seismic retrofitting and other capital improvements on various California public preschool, K-12, and college campuses.[5] Supporters argued that these improvements would make public schools safer and healthier. Opponents said that the actual total cost of the bonds plus interest would exceed $27 billion, more expensive than using funds directly from the regular state budget.[6] It failed by a margin of 6 percentage points.
Proposition 13[7]
Choice Votes %
  No 4,856,154 53.01
Yes 4,304,013 46.99
Total votes 9,160,167 100.00

General electionEdit

Proposition 14
Choice Votes %
  Yes 8,588,156 51.12
No 8,211,692 48.88
Total votes 16,799,848 100.00
  • Proposition 15
    • Schools and Local Communities Funding Act. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. This will increases funding for K-12 public schools, community colleges, and local governments by amending portions of 1978's Proposition 13, requiring commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on current market value instead of their purchase price. Exempts those owners with a combined value of $3 million or less, small businesses from personal property taxes, and $500,000 worth of personal property of non-small businesses.[8][10] This initiative failed by a margin of four percentage points.[11]
Proposition 15
Choice Votes %
  No 8,885,052 51.97
Yes 8,212,641 48.03
Total votes 17,097,693 100.00
Proposition 16
Choice Votes %
  No 9,655,024 57.23
Yes 7,216,721 42.77
Total votes 16,871,745 100.00
  • Proposition 17
    • Assembly Constitutional Amendment 6. This mandatory proposition, placed by the state legislature and the Governor, will amend the state constitution to allow people with felonies who are on parole to vote.[8][13] This margin passed by a margin of 17 percentage points.[11]
Proposition 17
Choice Votes %
  Yes 9,985,065 58.55
No 7,068,706 41.45
Total votes 17,053,771 100.00
  • Proposition 18
    • Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4. This mandatory proposition, placed by the state legislature and the Governor, will amend the state constitution to allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections if they will turn 18 by the subsequent general election.[8][14] This initiative failed by a margin of 12 percentage points.[11]
Proposition 18
Choice Votes %
  No 9,577,238 56.04
Yes 7,513,957 43.96
Total votes 17,091,195 100.00
  • Proposition 19
    • Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11. This mandatory proposition, placed by the state legislature and the Governor, will amend the state constitution, specifically portions of 1978's Proposition 13 by allowing homeowners who are over 55 years old or severely disabled to transfer their property tax base from their old home to their new one, regardless of the new residence's property value or location. The property tax base can be transferred up to three times instead of one. The proposition will require that inherited homes that are not used as principal residences be reassessed at market value when transferred. Revenue generated from these provisions will be allocated to wildfire agencies and counties.[8][15] It passed by a margin of 2 percentage points.
Proposition 19
Choice Votes %
  Yes 8,545,393 51.11
No 8,175,618 48.89
Total votes 16,721,011 100.00
  • Proposition 20
    • Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act. Initiative Statute. This proposition will, among others, expand the list of crimes that do not allow early parole, recategorizes particular misdemeanor crimes as instead ones that are chargeable as either misdemeanors or felonies, and require the collection DNA samples from anybody convicted of particular misdemeanors.[8][16] California voters decisively rejected this initiative by a margin of 23 percentage points.[11]
Proposition 20
Choice Votes %
  No 10,293,563 61.72
Yes 6,385,421 38.28
Total votes 16,678,984 100.00
  • Proposition 21
    • Rent Affordability. Initiative Statute. Would allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties that have been occupied for over 15 years. Would also allow landlords who own no more than two homes to exempt themselves from these new policies. This would essentially repeal some of the provisions in the 1995 Costa–Hawkins Rental Housing Act.[8][17] California voters rejected this initiative by a margin of 20 percentage points.[11]
Proposition 21
Choice Votes %
  No 10,094,634 59.85
Yes 6,770,958 40.15
Total votes 16,865,592 100.00
  • Proposition 22
    • Protect-App-Based Drivers and Services Act. Initiative Statute. This proposition will define all app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers as independent contractors for the purposes of labor and wage laws. This would override 2019's Assembly Bill 5, which implemented a three-part test to determine whether such a driver should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee.[8][18] This measure passed by a margin of 17 percentage points.[11]
Proposition 22
Choice Votes %
  Yes 9,957,858 58.63
No 7,027,467 41.37
Total votes 16,985,325 100.00
  • Proposition 23
    • Protect the Lives of Dialysis Patients Act. Initiative Statute. This proposition will require chronic dialysis clinics to have at least one on-site licensed physician while patients are being treated, report dialysis-related infection data to both the state health department and the federal CDC, gain approval from the state health department before closing a clinic, and to not discriminate against patients based on their source of payment for care, among others.[8][19] California voters decisively rejected this initiative by 27 percentage points.[11]
Proposition 23
Choice Votes %
  No 10,683,606 63.42
Yes 6,161,109 36.58
Total votes 16,844,715 100.00
  • Proposition 24
    • Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act. Initiative Statute. This propositions will expand provisions first implemented by the California Consumer Privacy Act. Among other additions, the proposition will allow customers to direct businesses from sharing their personal information and to make corrections to inaccurate personal information without any penalty. In addition, businesses will need to obtain permission before collecting data from consumers younger than 16, or permission from a parent or guardian before collecting data from consumers younger than 13. It will also establish a new state department called the California Privacy Protection Agency to enforce the consumer privacy laws.[8][20] This measure was approved by a margin of 12 percentage points.[11]
Proposition 24
Choice Votes %
  Yes 9,384,125 56.23
No 7,305,026 43.77
Total votes 16,689,151 100.00
  • Proposition 25
    • Referendum to Overturn a 2018 Law That Replaced Money Bail System with A System Based on Public Safety Risk. A referendum (placed on the ballot via petition) on Senate Bill 10 passed by the state legislature in 2018 that replaces the state's current cash bail system with a risk assessment-based bail system.[8][21] A majority of Californians voted no on this measure, which means that the previous system of cash bail will remain in place.[11] It failed by a margin of 13 percentage points.
Proposition 25
Choice Votes %
  No 9,356,096 56.41
Yes 7,231,044 43.59
Total votes 16,587,140 100.00


  1. ^ a b "Historical Voter Registration and Participation" (PDF). California Secretary of State.
  2. ^ Dezenski, Lauren (December 19, 2018). "Why California leapfrogged the 2020 primary schedule".
  3. ^ "Washington Post Live Electional College updates". Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 14, 2020.
  4. ^ Siders, David (October 8, 2011). "Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill restricting ballot initiative to November elections". Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "CA Legislature passes facilities bond measure for 2020 ballot". The Daily Californian. September 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "Proposition 13". March 3, 2020 Primary Election Official Voter Information Guide. California Secretary of State.
  7. ^ Official Declaration of the Vote Results on March 3, 2020 in State Ballot Measure, California Secretary of State, p. 173.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Qualified Statewide Ballot Measures". Secretary of State of California. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  9. ^ "California Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative (2020)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  10. ^ "California Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hooks, Chris Nichols, Kris. "What We Know About California Proposition Results". www.capradio.org. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  12. ^ "California Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  13. ^ "California Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment (2020)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  14. ^ "California Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment (2020)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  15. ^ "California Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment (2020)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  16. ^ "California Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  17. ^ "California Local Rent Control Initiative (2020)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  18. ^ "California App-Based Drivers Regulations Initiative (2020)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  19. ^ "California Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative (2020)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  20. ^ "California Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative (2020)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  21. ^ "The fate of California's cash bail industry will now be decided on the 2020 ballot". Sacramento Bee. August 17, 2019.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit