What does my vote mean?

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This year, Nov. 2 marks the day where Americans can exercise their right to vote.

To help clarify confusion and uncertainty when deciding how to vote on some of the propositions, here are some facts about the three important propositions on the ballot from the Official Voter Guide as prepared by Debra Bowen, the secretary of state in California.

The most controversial initiative on the ballot is Proposition 19, which would change California law on marijuana. It would allow the state to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.

If the proposition is passed, under state law, individuals who are 21 or older could possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. Moreover, the state and local governments could authorize, regulate and tax commercial marijuana-related activities under certain conditions.

If the proposition is not passed, the law would remain the same. Possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal and commercial activities will continue to be illegal, unless allowed under the state’s existing medical marijuana law.

Proposition 20 and 27 are in conflict with one another due to redistricting issues. Redistricting is when the election districts are redrawn. This process is done after each census to keep populations as equal as possible in terms of representation.

Proposition 20 calls for elected representatives to be removed from the process of redistricting congressional districts. Instead the 14 member redistricting commission would take this authority. The commission would consist of five Democrats, five Republicans and three people who are not associated with either party.

If the proposition is passed, the Citizens Redistricting Commission would take on this authority and if the proposition is not passed, then authority to redistrict would remain in the state Legislature’s hands.

Proposition 27 is about eliminating the 14 member state commission that redistrict congressional districts and give authority back to the Legislature.

If Prop 27 is passed, the responsibility to determine the boundaries of state Legislature and Board of Equalization districts would return to the Legislature and the Citizens Redistricting Commission, established by Proposition 11 in 2008 to carry out this role, would be removed.

If it is not, the Citizens Redistricting Commission will remain in place and have the responsibility of determining boundaries.

Redistricting is not the main issue on everyone’s mind because the lines are redrawn once every 10 years. However, it does have significance because this issue will determine who the representatives will be based on the demographics of constituents in the newly drawn districts.

If both Proposition 27 and Proposition 20 are approved by voters, the proposition with the most “yes” votes will go into effect.

To get the solid facts of what will be on the ballot, go to voterguide.sos.ca.gov