It's that time of year again where the pros and cons of daylight saving time get debated.
Daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2 a.m. when the clock falls back one hour. That shift to standard time means the sun will rise an hour earlier in the morning but also set an hour sooner.
The abrupt change to the daily rhythm raises a question of personal preference. Is it better to see the sun earlier in the morning or later in the evening?
California voters may think that this question was settled once and for all three years ago.
In 2018, nearly 60% of voters approved Proposition 7, which allows the state to remain in daylight saving time year-round. In other words, voters expressed support for sticking to a clock where the sun rises later in the morning and sets later in the evening.
But the reason that California residents are once again preparing to fall back an hour is that the passage of Prop 7 was just one step on the path toward permanent daylight saving time.
The remaining steps could be difficult to bring to fruition.
The next requirement would be a vote in the state legislature of two-thirds in favor of ending the twice-yearly clock change. But California lawmakers have not done that yet.
Even if that hurdle is crossed, California would still need permission from Congress to back out of seasonal clock change. Without that, states are subject to the Uniform Time Act of 1966. That law lets states stay on standard time, but if they adopt daylight saving time, they must switch the clocks at dates specified by the federal government.
Daylight saving time was created during World War I as a way to conserve coal. The US Department of Transportation, which oversees daylight saving time, says it continues to help save energy and reduce the number of accidents. However, there are critics who say the evidence is not clear-cut or even suggests that the loss of an hour of sleep in the spring leads to an increase in accidents from disoriented drivers and workers.
California is not alone in the movement to do away with the clock changes. There are 18 other states that have also passed resolutions or legislation aiming to make daylight saving time permanent, according to USA Today.
Hawaii, parts of Arizona, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands do not participate in daylight saving time. Under federal law, they are on standard time all year.