sheila sobchik

California voters will cast their ballots today in a special election for Propositions 73 through 80.

Student leaders of clubs such as the Cal Poly College Republicans and Progressive Student Alliance have been raising awareness regarding the election’s impact on students across campus and urging them to vote.

“Personally, I think the most important thing is to make sure students are aware there is an election going on at all and to give each one information on the propositions,” said Co-President of Progressive Student Alliance Abbie Livingston. “The flier that we were handing out to people, it does have our position on it and it clarifies why we are for or against the position. I think it’s just another avenue of information.”

One of the more controversial measures is Proposition 73, which would require minors to notify their parents if they want to have an abortion. Voting “no” for the proposition would not change any laws, allowing minors to have an abortion without a parent’s consent.

Some supporters of this proposition said that more than one million California signatures qualified this proposition, restoring “California’s right to counsel and care for their young daughters before – and after – an abortion,” according to www.smartvoter.org.

Some voters against this proposition said that by voting “yes,” the government is mandating family communication, which “may resort to unsafe, illegal abortion,” according to www.smartvoter.org.

“We encourage a ‘no’ vote on 73,” Livingston said.

“Yes” on Proposition 74 will increase the probationary period required for new teachers from two years to five years, allowing the school’s board of directors the ability to dismiss a teacher with two consecutive unsatisfactory teaching evaluations. If the proposition does not pass, the probation period will remain the same.

Proposition 75 would prohibit public employee unions from using members’ dues for political contributions, without the personal consent of the union employee. It also requires the union to report political contributions to the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Voters for this proposition said that “yes” on 75 guarantees that union employees will not be “forced to contribute their hard earned money to political candidates or issues that they may oppose,” according to www.smarvoter.org.

Others against the proposition said that voting “yes” would only give workers an additional set of rules to deal with.

“Prop 75 is a deceptive measure with a hidden agenda to silence the voices of nurses, teachers, firefighters and police,” said Sarah Leonard, the communications director for the Proposition 75 campaign. “It does not give workers any new rights that they don’t already have.”

Proposition 76 will determine the limits of state spending and school funding by Proposition 98 and granting the governor permission, under special circumstances, to reduce the budget.

Proposition 78 will allow the discount of prescription drugs for low-income citizens. Authorizing health services will have the ability to contract with prescription companies for certain discounts. Proposition 79 would provide the discount to those who qualify. This would be funded by state-negotiated rebates with the drug manufacturer.

The Cal Poly College Republicans recommend students to vote “yes” on propositions 73 through 77, although Nick Matroni, president of the club, urged students to research propositions themselves before making a final decision.

“I encourage all of my club members to go out and do their own research and look at the pros and cons of each proposition,” Matroni said. “Don’t vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because your party or governor does.”

For more information on the Nov. 8 election or the proposition visit www.smartvoters.org or www.sloclerkrecorder.org.

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