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Remember to Vote: California’s Primary Election Is Tomorrow

Vote Voting 300x200 1Tomorrow is California’s Primary Election, which includes a statewide ballot measure, Proposition 1; regional and local candidates; party nominations for president; and an open U.S. Senate contest to determine the top two finishers who will advance to the November election.

Polling centers will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Counties throughout the state have opened vote centers where voters may vote early or drop off vote-by-mail ballots. People who want to vote but missed the voter registration deadline can fill out a conditional registration form at a vote center in order to cast a ballot, which will be tallied after election officials confirm voter eligibility.

To find a vote center, click here.

For more information on tomorrow’s Primary Election, click here.

Yes on Proposition 1

Proposition 1 is the only statewide measure appearing on the March Primary Election Ballot.

The measure authorizes $6.38 billion in state general obligation bonds for mental health treatment facilities ($4.4 billion) and supportive housing for homeless veterans and homeless individuals with behavioral health challenges ($2 billion). It amends Mental Health Services Act to:

  • Allow funding to be used to treat substance use disorders (instead of only mental health disorders);
  • Re-allocate funding for full-service treatment programs, other behavioral health services (e.g., early intervention), and housing programs;
  • Require annual audits of programs.

The California of Chamber of Commerce endorses Proposition 1 because it provides an effective and ambitious plan that addresses the three interrelated social crises of homelessness, untreated serious mental illness and drug abuse in California. The measure will provide the resources to help communities across the state recover from what has been an unprecedented mental health and homelessness crisis.

Proposition 1 authorizes nearly $6.4 billion in bonds and directs billions more annually to fix the broken mental health system and move people off the streets, out of tents and into treatment.

For more information on Prop 1, visit treatmentnottents.com

Employer Obligations

Even with the expansion of mail-in voting, California employers still have election-related obligations, including a required poster and allowing time off to vote in certain situations.

All employers, regardless of size, must display a poster describing voting leave requirements at least 10 days before every statewide election. The CalChamber offers a convenient all-in-one California and Federal Employment Notices Poster.

Employees who lack sufficient time to vote outside of working hours may legally take up to two hours of paid time to vote in a statewide election. California’s Voter’s Choice Act may make it difficult for employees in participating counties to justify a lack of time — since ballots can be mailed in with prepaid postage and voters can cast a ballot at any voting center within their county (the county where your employee is registered to vote rather than the county where they work determines whether the Voter’s Choice Act applies). Under California law, for an employee to take paid time off to vote in person, the:

  • Employee must notify the employer at least two working days in advance to arrange a voting time; and
  • Time must be taken at the beginning or end of the shift, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from working, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon.

Employee Political Communications

Business owners can inform employees about the impact of proposed state legislation, regulations and ballot measures — as long as they do it the right way. For instance, employers may not include political information with paychecks, or reward or punish employees (or threaten to do so) for their political activities or beliefs.

CalChamber’s Guidelines for Political Communications to Employees lets employers know what they can and can’t do when communicating with employees. These guidelines also note when employers must report what they spend as contributions or lobbying, and make a clear distinction between internal communications (to employees, stockholders and their families) and communications to external audiences (such as non-stockholder retirees, outside vendors, customers or passersby).

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