Your guide to the midterm elections

How, when, and where to vote, and what to vote on

The+closest+voting+center+to+Woodside+High+is+located+in+the+Redwood+City+Hall+Council+Chambers.%0A++

Elliott Stallion on Unsplash

The closest voting center to Woodside High is located in the Redwood City Hall Council Chambers.

Patrick Van Hoven, Staff Writer

Midterm elections are coming up, and the deadline to vote is Tuesday, November 8, 2022. This article contains information about how and where to vote, and summarizes four key issues appearing on the California State Ballot. 

Where and How to Vote

The closest voting center to Woodside High School is the Redwood City Hall Council Chambers, located at 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063. It is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On election day (November 8), it will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

It offers same-day Voter Registration. 

Key Issues

We have selected four key issues from the Official California Voter Information Guide, and have summarized them below, as well as the key arguments for and against each issue.

Prop 1: Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom. 

                Legislative Constitutional Amendment

This amendment would add the following reproductive rights to California’s Constitution:

  • Right to choose to have an abortion
  • Right to choose or refuse contraceptives

It has no direct fiscal impact. 

Pro: The above rights would be strongly protected in the Constitution, and will therefore label them as fundamental rights.  

Con: These rights are already guaranteed by California State Law, and passage of this law may increase state spending on abortions. 

How will the passage of this amendment affect teenagers? Abortion and contraceptive rights are rights available to teenagers as well. And, as teenagers mature into adults, these rights will only become more important. 

Prop 28: Provides Additional Funding for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools

                  Initiative Statute

This statute would mandate additional funding for arts and music programs in all public schools, including charter schools. More funding would be allocated to schools serving more economically disadvantaged students, and there would be strict administrative accountability and oversight. It would cost the state an additional $1 billion annually, without raising taxes.

Pro: Only 1 in 5 California public schools have a full-time arts program. Evidence suggests that arts and music programs contribute beneficially to children’s development. 

Con: No argument provided. 

How would the passage of this statute affect teenagers? This statute would improve arts education in your school as soon as next year. This means that here at Woodside, our arts and music programs will receive more funding to expand their operations!  

Prop 30: Provides Funding for Programs to Reduce Air Pollution and Prevent Wildfires by Increasing Tax on Personal Income Over $2 Million. 

                   Initiative Statute

This statute would allocate tax revenue towards environmental programs such as wildfire prevention, clean energy, and electric vehicles. It would increase state tax revenue by $3.5-$5 million annually, but would only increase taxes (by 1.75%) on individuals with personal incomes of over $2 million. 

Pro: California experiences deadly wildfires every year. This statute will increase public fire safety and will support clean energy initiatives such as electric-vehicle-purchase incentives, all while only taxing the wealthiest California residents. 

Con: It will increase the strain on the energy grid, and will cost as much as $90 billion during the next 20 years. 

How will the passage of this statute affect teenagers? We are all affected by wildfires and air pollution. The passage of this statute will take important steps to address these issues, all without raising taxes on the vast majority of Californians. 

Prop 31: Referendum on 2020 Law That Would Prohibit the Retail Sale of Certain Flavored Tobacco Products

                  Referendum

This referendum would approve a 2020 law that prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products. It would decrease state revenue from tobacco taxes to around $100 million annually. 

Pro: It would protect kids from the harmful effects of flavored tobacco, as 80% of children who have used tobacco started with flavored products. 

Con: It will cost taxpayers $1 billion over four years, and wouldn’t directly help children as it is already illegal to sell tobacco to minors. “Prop 31 is adult prohibition… Prohibition never works.”

How will the passage of this referendum affect teenagers? Many teenagers have observed the effects of drug usage on people in their community. This referendum will protect teenagers from the harmful temptations of flavored nicotine products. 

Get Out and Vote!

The importance of voting in American elections, of participating in our democracy, cannot be overstated. To quote an article by political commentator Isaac Stahl: 

This right that we have did not come cheaply. Many people died fighting for it. Many people are currently risking their lives to come here and enjoy it. You can mock this as American exceptionalism, but it’s really the opposite — our democracy isn’t an exception to the rule. If we stop participating in it, it dies.”

To learn more about why you should vote, check out Jaiedenn Dolan’s article: “Encouraging Students at Woodside to Vote in Upcoming November Elections.”