Measures K and L: San Diego City Elections Reformed in Historic Vote

Measures K and L: San Diego City Elections Reformed in Historic Vote

Created: 09 November, 2016
Last update: 21 November, 2022

San Diego, CALIF.-Democracy is best served when the most voters are participating. That was the signature tenet of Measures K and L and it rang true with wins for the two measures that will amend the City Charter of San Diego.

Measure K won with 58% of the vote. Measure L won with 65% of the vote.

Written by the Independent Voter Project, Measure K will align San Diego with the State of California’s election rules, using the same nonpartisan top-two runoff process to elect our mayor, city attorney and council members as we use to elect the Governor, state legislators, and members of Congress.

Chad Peace, attorney with the Independent Voter Project, and author of Measure K said, “Quietly, San Diego did something quite important. Measure K will not necessarily change who will get elected in the future. But it will ensure that our leaders are accountable to everyone.”

And, drafted by Alliance San Diego, Measure L will ensure that citizen initiatives and referendums are voted on only in the November general election, when the most voters participate.

Unlike state and federal offices, a local 50%+1 election loophole allowed special interests to elect their candidates when fewer voters were involved in the decision-making process. In San Diego’s last 36 elections, 19 were decided in the June primary, when turnout is often half of what it is in the November General Election.

Voters rationally assume the races are actually being decided in the general election. Measure K will eliminate the confusion and that loophole.

For the same reason, Measure L amends the Charter to require all local ballot measures to appear on the November ballot instead of the June primary ballot.

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About the Author

Jeff Powers

Jeff Powers is an award-winning journalist from San Diego, California, and has worked on IVN as a writer and editor. He has also worked on a number of local campaigns including SDSU West, Measures K & L, and other campaigns.