Ballot measures yield mixed results

Bryana Lozoya, Reporter

The unofficial results for the Kern County’s 2018 midterm election arrived early Wednesday morning.

Multiple measures for cities like Bakersfield, Arvin, Wasco, Tehachapi, and McFarland were on the ballot.

According to the California Secretary of State website’s county reporting status, the unofficial count of ballots that were cast in Kern County was more than 132,000, making it a 35 percent voter turnout for this year’s midterm general election.

Results for two Kern and one Bakersfield cannabis measure, J, K, and O, all failed to pass by large margins.

Measure J got a 61.71 percent for a no vote with only 38.29 percent voting yes.

If passed, Measure J would have legalized medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of Kern County.

Measure K is another unincorporated county measure that received a 53.80 percent no vote compared to the 46.20 percent who voted yes.

Measure K would have legalized recreational and medical dispensaries along Interstate 5 and provide licensing requirements, permit fees, and regulations on cultivating, distribution, selling, and placement of cannabis and dispensaries.

Measure O would have allowed medical dispensaries to operate within Bakersfield’s city limits while applying a 7.5 percent business tax on dispensaries but received a 55.13 percent no vote with only 44.87 percent voting yes.

Although measures J, K, and O failed to pass, Arvin’s cannabis measure, Measure M, passed with a majority vote.

Arvin’s measure M will allow the city to enact a tax on marijuana businesses at rates of between two and six percent on retail and between $4 and $6 per square foot for cultivation.

Three school bond measures, the Wasco Union High School district bond measure E, the Panama-Buena Vista Union School district (PBVUSD) bond measure H and Arvin Union High School district bond measure G have all passed with majority vote.

Wasco’s measure E creates local funding to improve Wasco High School’s facilities and will be used for repairing and construction. It is a $40.5 million bond that will be paid for with funds received from an annual property tax of $30 per $100,000 of calculated property value.

Measure G will modernize, upgrade technology, and improve plumbing and electrical systems among other things with a $15 million bond for Arvin. 

Measure H is a $90 million bond that seeks to fund the construction of three new schools, additional classroom buildings, safety upgrades, modernizations, and more.

The measure will help with the overcrowding in the PBVUSD.

Then there is the Kern County tax measure I and Bakersfield’s tax measure N which both received votes of no.

Sixty-six percent of people voted no for measure I, which wanted a one cent general purpose sales tax increase in the unincorporated areas of Kern County to improve services like public safety, parks, roads, libraries, and code enforcement.

And 52.25 percent voted no for Measure N, a measure that wanted to prevent cuts and improve 911 emergency response, neighborhood police patrols, address homelessness, and more with a one-cent sales tax increase. 

Arvin and McFarland also had tax measures on their ballots, measures L and P respectively. Both measures did not pass.

Tehachapi’s measure R is a bond measure for recreation and parks that needed a two-thirds vote to pass but did not.

No votes were at 69.32 percent compared to the 30.68 percent who voted yes.

The Kern Valley Healthcare district tax measure Q did not pass, 55.15 percent voted nowhere only 44.85 percent voted yes.

Measure Q wanted a tax of $82 per parcel for 40 years to raise a little over a million dollars to help keep hospital facilities and medical equipment up to date, expand the emergency department, and attract doctors and medical specialists to the area.

  Residents can go to to read the outcome of the election.