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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Possible Antivax Referendum in California

In The Politics of Autism, I explain how the discredited idea that vaccines cause autism has fueled opposition to mandatory immunization.  At The Los Angeles Times, Patrick McGreevy reports:
Opponents of a new California law mandating vaccinations for more children were cleared by the state Tuesday to begin collecting signatures on a ballot referendum on the measure.
Led by former assemblyman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks, the opponents must collect the signatures of 365,880 registered voters on petitions by Sept. 28 for the referendum to qualify for the ballot.

A majority of voters would then have to vote yes on the referendum, in favor of the new law, during a November 2016 election, or it would not go into effect.
 Allan Hoffenblum, a Republican consultant and chief author of the California Target Book, predicted the opponents would qualify the measure for the ballot.

“It’s a minority of people but it’s a sizeable minority of people,” Hoffenblum said. “I would be surprised if it didn’t quality. There is a lot of intensity.”
He said the opponents have a “sizeable advantage” because the signatures required for the referendum are based on 5% of the total votes cast for governor in the last general election, and November’s election had a record-low turnout.