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November 8, 2016 — Elección General de California
Local

City of San Diego
Measure K Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales

Passing

280,075 votos si (59.03%)

194,412 votos no (40.97%)

To Require Run-Off Elections for the Offices of Mayor, City Attorney and Councilmembers
— undefined

Shall the Charter be amended to eliminate the provision that elects a candidate for Mayor, City Attorney, or Councilmember to office if the candidate receives a majority vote in the June primary election, and instead require a run-off election at the November general election between the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary election?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Pros y Contras — Explicación objetiva con argumentos a favor y en contra

Fuente: League of Women Voters San Diego

La propuesta

What it would do:

  • Remove the 50% + 1 winner in the June primary election, and replace it with a mandatory run-off in the November general election between the top two candidates in the June primary election.

Sus partidarios dicen

  • Many people do not realize there is a winner-take-all system for City of San Diego offices in the June primary.

  • State and Federal elections are run this way.

  • Many more people (especially minorities and younger voters) vote in the November General Election than in the Primary election, so more people will have a voice in deciding the final winner of these contests.

Sus oponentes dicen

 

  • Election costs will increase. In the past 8 years, it would have ranged from $30,000 to $260,000 per election to have forced June's outright winners to face run-offs on the November ballot.

  • Conservative critics say that if liberal candidates and parties are concerned about the lower turnout of liberal-leaning voters in June, they should do a better job of getting out the vote, rather than changing the rules.

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Resumen

San Diego City Attorney

This measure would amend the San Diego City Charter to eliminate the provision that elects a candidate to a City office – the Mayor, City Attorney or a Councilmember – if the candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the June primary election. Instead, the proposed amendments would require a November run-off election between the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary election, even if one candidate received a majority vote.

The proposed amendment is legally untested. The current procedure follows the California Elections Code provision for elections of non-partisan officers. The California Elections Code is used by general law cities, but Charter cities like San Diego can adopt their own election laws.

If the amendment is approved, an exception would be made if only one candidate qualified for the June primary for a particular seat. The one qualified candidate potentially could be a write-in candidate, as qualified write-in candidates are allowed to run in primary, but not general, elections.

The Charter currently provides that if a candidate for Mayor, City Attorney, or Councilmember receives more than 50% of the vote in the June primary election, the candidate is deemed elected to the seat. Once the results are certified, the candidate would assume office at the beginning of the next term in December. If no candidate received 50% of the primary vote, the two candidates with the most votes in the primary would advance to the November general election.

Candidates in the run-off election would face the same electorate in the general election as they did in the primary – either a citywide vote, in the case of the Mayor and City Attorney, or a district-only vote, in the case of a particular Councilmember.

Antecedentes

San Diego City Attorney

The City Council placed the measure on the ballot. If approved, the Charter amendments would become effective after they are chaptered by the California Secretary of State. 

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

San Diego City Attorney

The California Constitution grants authority to Charter cities like San Diego to establish their own election procedures.

The Charter provides that if a candidate for Mayor, City Attorney, or Councilmember receives more than 50% of the vote in the June primary election, the candidate is deemed elected to the seat. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote in the primary election, the two candidates receiving the most votes in the primary advance to a November general election.

This procedure follows the California Elections Code provisions for non-partisan elections. San Diego’s candidate elections are non-partisan.

This measure would make a substantive change to the way City officials are elected to office, eliminating the ability of a candidate to win a seat outright in the June primary election if the candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. This year, for example, candidates for Mayor and Councilmember for Districts 3, 5, and 7, respectively, each won their elections with more than 50% of the primary vote and will not face a November ballot.

If approved, run-off elections will be required to elect all City officials, regardless of the percentage of votes candidates received in the primary election. Amendments would require a second election that would not have been held under current law if a candidate received a majority vote in the primary.

Candidates in the run-off election would face the same electorate in the general election as they did in the primary – a citywide vote, for Mayor and City Attorney, or a district-only vote, for a Councilmember.

Amendments would provide an exception if only one candidate qualified to run in the June primary for a particular office. This could be a write-in candidate, as qualified write-in candidates are allowed to run in primary, but not general, elections. The sole qualified candidate receiving votes in the primary would be deemed elected.

The proposal appears to be modeled on the California Open Primary law, but is distinguishable. San Diego’s municipal offices are technically non-partisan offices and ballot materials cannot list political party affiliations. California’s law allows all candidates for a partisan office to be listed on a single primary ballot, along with their party preferences. The Open Primary allows voters to vote for any candidate without regard to party preference of the candidate or voter, and the top two vote-getters then advance to a November runoff election.

The amendment sending a municipal candidate to a November runoff after the candidate has won a majority vote in a non-partisan primary has not been legally tested.

The proposed amendment would not follow the California Elections Code. Charter cities are not required to follow the California Elections Code, which states that non-partisan candidates who receive a majority vote at a primary election shall be elected to that office, and that office shall not appear on the ballot at the ensuring general election. 

General law cities are required to follow the California Elections Code. Charter cities may choose to adopt the code or may adopt other election procedures. 

Efectos fiscales

San Diego City Attorney

This measure would require all the election process for elected City offices to consist of a primary election in June among all candidates for a particular office, and a run-off election in November for the top-two vote-getters in the June primary election. At present, if a candidate for office wins a majority of votes cast during the June primary election, that candidate wins the office outright and no run-off election in November is required.

The measure would increase the cost of the City’s November elections by requiring additional ballot materials and vote tabulations for run-off elections that would not be required under the City’s current elections process.

Had this measure been in effect during the past four election cycles in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014, election costs would have increased between $30,000 and $260,000 in each election. A similar range of increased costs in future elections could be anticipated if this measure is adopted.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE K

VOTE YES ON MEASURE K 
MORE VOTERS = BETTER DECISIONS

Measure K ensures all elections for mayor, city attorney and city council are decided in November general elections, when more people vote.

MEASURE K ENSURES CITY LEADERS ARE ELECTED BY A MAJORITY OF VOTERS

  • The city’s current system allows candidates to win election in the June primary with votes from a small fraction of the people they represent, when as few as 20 percent of voters cast ballots. Measure K ensures final decisions are made in November, when as many as 80 percent of voters cast ballots.

MEASURE K IS CONSISTENT WITH THE STATE AND FEDERAL ELECTION PROCESS

  • Measure K uses the same top-two runoff process we use to elect the Governor, state legislators, and members of Congress, eliminating confusion caused by using a different process for city elections.

MEASURE K GIVES VOTERS – NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS – POWER TO CHOOSE CITY LEADERS

  • The city’s current system gives political parties and special interests -- with the power of their money and endorsements – more influence in the June election, and leaves many voters out of the process. Measure K returns power to the voters and ensures that city leaders are elected by and are accountable to the majority of the people they represent.

MEASURE K PROTECTS TAXPAYERS

  • By ensuring city leaders are accountable to a majority of the people they represent, Measure K protects taxpayers from spending schemes that favor small special interest groups -- and it costs just a few cents more per voter than the current system.

THAT’S WHY MEASURE K IS ENDORSED BY TAXPAYERS, COMMUNITY LEADERS, ELECTION EXPERTS AND GOOD GOVERNMENT ADVOCATES.

YesOnKandL.org

 /s/

SHERRI LIGHTNER
San Diego City Council President

SCOTT BARNETT
President, San Diego Taxpayers Advocate

CHUCK ABDELNOUR
Retired San Diego City Clerk and Chief Elections Officer

REV. J. LEE HILL 
President, San Diego County Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance

ALAN ARROLLADO
President, San Diego City Fire Fighters, Local 145

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Argumento EN CONTRA

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE K

Vote No on Measure K
It’s rushed, lacked public involvement and takes millions from our neighborhoods

Eliminating the 50% victory rule will cost the City millions of dollars.
This change to the City Charter would require the City to conduct additional elections, at great expense to taxpayers, even if a candidate earned 99% of the vote. This simply does not make sense.

No other California cities use the election system proposed by this measure.
Of the 482 cities in California, ZERO use the type of election process proposed here. We should not be gambling with an untested system. Even more concerning, no other alternatives were studied. The most common forms of elections used by California cities were not even considered.

Rushed without sufficient public input or community outreach.
We should be extremely cautious when making dramatic changes to our democratic election processes. Traditionally, cities that make changes to their elections carefully study proposals and conduct outreach to hear from all communities. With this measure, none of that occurred. It was rushed through in a matter of days. Even the City Attorney’s office stated it did not have sufficient time to analyze potential legal issues regarding the California and Federal Voter Rights Act.

Doesn't guarantee more voter interest.
A more effective way to maximize voter participation would be to have just one election. That is why almost 92% of California cities use a plurality system. But that's not what this measure does. It requires taxpayers to spend millions on multiple elections, even if a candidate wins a majority of the vote in a high-voter turnout election.

San Diego deserves better. Measure K was rushed, has not undergone thorough legal review and will take millions away from streets and public safety. Vote No and support more effective alternatives to increase voter turnout.

 /s/

AIMEE FAUCETT 
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

CHRIS CATE
Councilmember

MAYOR KEVIN L. FAULCONER

SCOTT SHERMAN 
Councilmember

LORIE ZAPF 
Councilmember

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

[None]

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

[None]

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

¿Quién está a favor y en contra de esta iniciativa de ley?

Sí por Measure K

Organizaciónes (1)

Funcionarios electos y designados (0)
No por Measure K

Organizaciónes (2)

Funcionarios electos y designados (0)

Más información

Noticias (16)

(At a glance) City of San Diego ballot measures, E-N — October 23, 2016 San Diego Union-Tribune
Election law brawl: Soros versus Lincoln — October 19, 2016 San Diego Reader
Flaw in Local Ballot Could Impact Results for Measure K — October 19, 2016 NBC 7 San Diego
San Diego’s Biggest November Election Has No Candidates — August 29, 2016 Voice of San Diego

Videos (1)

— October 3, 2016 Voice of San Diego
Voice of San Diego's assistant editor Andrew Keatts moderates a lively debate between Mickey Kasparian and Steve Peace (in favor of the measure) and Chris Cate and Ryan Clumpner (opposed to the measure).

Información del contacto

Información del contacto de la campaña por el sí Measure K
Yes on K and L
Información del contacto de la campaña por el no Measure K
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