Scheidegger and others say the delays and huge costs that proponents of Proposition 34 cite have been created by the ACLU and other death penalty opponents.
Legal challenges to California's method of execution, currently a three-drug process, have stalled any executions since 2006 and there is no end in sight, partly because of a shortage of one of the three drugs.
Scheidegger notes that there are currently 13 inmates on death row whose appeals have been exhausted and who could be put to death in short order if the state switched to a one-drug process, as some other states have.
"They could do single drug (executions) tomorrow," Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully said. "They have practiced it."
Ohio began using a one-drug process in 2009 and conducted its first execution 25 days later, according to research by Scully's office. Since then, 15 inmates have been executed in the state.
Arizona went to a one-drug protocol, as the process is called, earlier this year and executed someone two days later. California officials have indicated in court filings that if the state moved to use a single drug it "would prefer that the execution team have three days' notice."
Scully and others say California officials could easily exempt the death penalty from lengthy regulatory procedures and implement the one-drug protocol, and that the California District Attorneys Association has asked Gov. Jerry Brown to do so.
But Scully said she believes Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, both of whom oppose the death penalty but say they would enforce the law, have no interest in speeding up the process.
Scully added that she does not want to be seen as cavalierly pushing for people to be put to death, noting that the entire topic is a "solemn" one that needs to be addressed seriously. But she said the argument that money could be saved by housing condemned inmates for the rest of their lives makes no sense.
"For every person that gets their sentence of execution carried out, we have now just saved on housing and health care costs," she said. "How does that save money, by keeping them in there as opposed to executing them?"
For now, supporters of keeping the death penalty note that they are being outspent by large margins.
Backers of Proposition 34 have raised roughly $2 million so far this year from a variety of Silicon Valley and Hollywood executives, ACLU chapters and others.
Opponents of the measure have reported raising barely $50,000, although they say they expect more contributions from law enforcement groups and elected officials and that they hope voters' long-standing support for the death penalty will continue.
"I fully expect that they are going to massively outspend our side," Scheidegger said. "But there are limits to how much you can change people's minds with advertising."