Green Party of California

Prop. 14 lawsuit backed by Greens; independent party agrees courts should strike down big business-backed measure which misled voters, limits their vote choices


SAN FRANCISCO (August 05, 2010) - Greens say they support a lawsuit filed here this last week that challenges the constitutionality of Prop. 14 - approved by voters in June - that severely limits choice at the ballot box and was created and supported by big business to mislead voters.

The lawsuit argues, on behalf of four voters, that two aspects of the California top-two system are unconstitutional, as applied to them. Prop. 14 would not count all votes in November elections - it would exclude write-in votes, violating the California Constitution as amended in 2002, which provides all valid votes must be counted.

The lawsuit further argues, that since only two names will appear on each office ballot (because smaller parties will be excluded), it's very likely there would be write-in votes. But Prop 14 states write-in votes can never be counted, disenfranchising large numbers of voters and their choices.

"The Green Party understands the frustration of California voters, who have been shut out of any meaningful electoral choice. But Prop. 14 is a step backward, further limiting voter choice at a time when they want more choice. Prop. 14 will just elect more incumbents - those who voters now want to reject," said Green Party of California archivist Hank Chapot.

"There are real, tested electoral reforms that should be enacted; proportional representation, instant run-off voting, campaign finance reform and funding disclosure, open debates, and non-partisan voter outreach and education, to name a few. But California voters were lied into believing a 'jungle' primary that Prop. 14 mandates is reform that will give them more choice. That is demonstrably untrue," added Chapot.

He said that Prop. 14's proponents, from the Chamber of Commerce to huge, multi-million dollar corporations, are "determined to throttle California's vibrant independent party scene along with the state's long history of democratic innovation."

"We support any effort to stop this power grab by entrenched interests masked as reform. They want to be sure no one else has a chance to win and Prop. 14 will do that because it won't even let all the candidates run and all the ballots be counted," said Chapot.


Hank Chapot, 510.504.3538,
Derek Iversen, Spokesperson, 323.481.8984,
Cres Vellucci, Press Secretary, 916.996.9170,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437