2016 Election Brings Drastic Change in California

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Of Orange County’s 1,535,967 registered voters, approximately 862,300, or 56.1 percent, cast ballots in last Tuesday’s presidential election. For the first time since 1936, the majority of Orange County voters chose the Democratic candidate for president — 49.9 percent of voters chose Hillary Clinton, while 44.7 percent chose Republican candidate Donald J. Trump, who lost America’s popular vote but won the Electoral College to become America’s 45th president-elect.

With 54.9 percent of the vote, the state of California elected Democrat Kamala Harris to the U.S. Senate, making her the first Indian-American senator in America and the first African-American senator in California.

Voters in the state of California also elected to pass a number of progressive propositions, as follows: Prop 51 authorized $9 billion in bonds for schools and education. Prop 52 required voter approval to change California’s hospital fee program, which allows certain hospital fees to be used to fund Medi-Cal services and draw matching federal funds. Prop 54 prohibits legislature from passing any bill until it has been in print and posted online for 72 hours. Prop 55 extends personal income tax on incomes over $250,000. Prop 56 increases the tax on tobacco products by $2 per pack. Prop 57 increases parole opportunities for non-violent offenders and allows judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try juvenile offenders as adults in court. Prop 58 allows bilingual education in public schools. Prop 59 allows the State of California to endorse the overturn of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to finance political campaigns. Prop 63 requires background checks for certain ammunition purchases. Prop 64 legalizes the recreational use of marijuana. Prop 66, which narrowly passed, will reform California’s death penalty with a faster execution process. Prop 67 prohibits single-use plastic carryout bags.

California voters voted against only five propositions: Prop 53, which would have required voter approval before the state could issue over $2 billion in infrastructure bonds; Prop 60, which would have required the use of condoms in adult pornographic films; Prop 61, which would have regulated prescription drug prices; Prop 62, which would have repealed the death penalty; and Prop 65, which would have allocated funds from the purchase of single-use plastic bags to an environmental protection fund. Prop 65 was nullified by the passage of prop 67, which banned single-use plastic bags throughout the state.

On the local level, seven U.S. Representative positions were on the ballot in Orange County; incumbent representative Mimi Walters (R), who represents California’s 45th district including UC Irvine, was re-elected with 59.5 percent of the vote. Orange County also elected Linda T. Sanchez (D — 38th district), Ed Royce (R — 39th district), Lou Correa (D — 36th district), Alan Lowenthal (D — 47th district), Dana Rohrabacher (R — 48th district) and Darrell Issa (R — 49th district).

As state senators, Orange County elected Ling Ling Chang (R — 29th district) and John M.W. Moorlach (R — 37th district).

Orange County voters elected Donald P. Wagner as mayor of Irvine. Irvine’s mayoral election is nonpartisan, but Wagner is affiliated with the Republican party, and was a Republican member of the California State Assembly from 2010 until 2016. In addition, Christina L. Shea was elected to a seat on the Irvine City Council. Shea was first elected to City Council in 1992, and has been elected mayor of the City of Irvine twice, in 1996 and 1998.

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