Jul 04, 2020

Prop. 8 leads; Swearengin is Fresno mayor

Photo courtesy of Ashley Swearengin

Proposition 8, the controversial ballot measure that would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, held a narrow lead on Election Night.

With 38.7 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, Prop. 8 was winning, according to the Secretary of State Web site. As of 11:12 p.m., there was 52.8 percent voting yes and 47.2 percent voting no.

Fresno State political science professor Jeff Cummings said that whatever way the proposition goes, the result would show the importance of marriage in California.

“If it passes, it shows how passionately a majority of Californians feel about gay marriage,” Cummings said.

A similar proposition was approved in 2000 and then later overturned by the State Supreme Court. Cummings said if the initiative passed this time, the only way it could be challenged would be by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It cannot be thrown out again,” Cummings said. “If it passes it will become part of California’s constitution.”

Students interviewed at Fresno State on Tuesday seemed most interested in the outcome of Prop. 8.

Ryan Tubongbanua / The Collegian

Fresno State student Kyle Sunderland, a kinesiology major, said it would be interesting to watch how the voting turned out for the controversial issue.

Sunderland said that since a ban was passed in 2000 and then later overturned, the latest vote would show if people’s opinions have changed on the issue.

“I think it will show the mind-set of California,” Sunderland said.

Elvis Martinez, a plant science major, was in favor of Prop. 8.

“I liked the way it was before,” he said.

Proposition 1A splits voters

Among the other closely watched ballot initiatives, Proposition 1A had voters split statewide.

Prop. 1A, if passed, would approve $9.95 billion in bonds to fund the first part of a high-speed passenger train system, eventually connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles.

With 38.7 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, Proposition 1A was narrowly winning, according to the Secretary of State Web site. As of 11:12 p.m., there was 51.1 percent voting yes and 48.9 percent voting no.

Kenneth Hansen, a political science professor at Fresno State, said that if the proposition were offered six months ago, it would have been a different story.

“When times are good, people are feeling generous and vote for them,” Hansen said.

“When the economy is doing bad, [the bonds] tend to get defeated.”

Hansen also said that he believes that people in California will really be missing out if the prop isn’t passed.

“To not have it is really a drag on the economy,” he said.

Proposition 2 takes big lead

Proposition 2, which would require that farm animals’ enclosures have enough room for them to sit, stand, stretch, lay down and walk around, took a strong lead Tuesday night.

With 38.7 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, Proposition 2 was strongly winning, according to the Secretary of State Web site. As of 11:12 p.m., there was 62.5 percent voting yes and 37.5 percent voting no.

Although this proposition at first glance may seem to be one of “equal rights” to farm animals, many agriculture experts disagree with it.

Michelle Ganci, who teaches poultry production at Fresno State, said that if the proposition passed it would be a great disservice to local family poultry ranchers, who she said make up 99 percent of local production.

“We have the safest food in the world right here with people that know the safety issues,” Ganci said.

Furthermore, Ganci said that in California there are approximately 19 million egg-laying hens that produce 5 billion eggs annually, two-thirds of those Californians consume.

“My life is about animal health,” Ganci said. “Tell me how I can get 5 billion eggs annually if they are mistreated, ill and/or sick?”

Swearengin leads mayoral race

Ashley Swearengin led the race for mayor of Fresno late Tuesday. With 78 percent of precincts reporting at 10:15 p.m., Swearengin had 55 percent of the vote while challenger Henry T. Perea had 44.8 percent, according to the Fresno County clerk.

As voters lined up around the block near the Fresno County Clerk’s office downtown to cast their ballots Tuesday night, supporters of Swearengin and Perea occupied the street corner nearby.

Perea stood among his supporters, waving and greeting passersby. Fans of Perea honked their horns and shouted to show their support.

Although Swearengin’s supporters were among the crowd, Swearengin was busy making last-minute phone calls, according to Cathe McCall, Swearengin’s scheduler.

Additional reporting by Josh Butters and Adam Criswell.

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