Supervisors Delay Elections Ballot Measure, Supporters Cry Foul

By a vote of 4-1, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors rejected the Fair Vote Participation Initiative for the November general election.

The measure, that would have mirrored Measure K in the City of San Diego, would have forced all county races to the general election, no matter if a candidate gets 50%+1 of the vote.

The measure had been cleared for the ballot after collecting enough valid signatures, but Republicans killed the measure. Termed-out Supervisor Ron Roberts voted against his colleagues.

Commission Study

The Supervisors decided to commission a study on how the initiative will impact county elections. It could go before voters in 2020, which political observers agree, gives Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar a better opportunity to retain her seat.

More voters participate in the general election than in the primary, that point is not disputed. Republicans believe, that due to voter demographics, moving the biggest decisions to the November General election favors Democrats, since more of their voters are participating.

Democrats Outraged

David Lagstein has been the point person in the effort to get the Fair Voter Participation Initiative on the ballot in November. He’s an organizer with the local chapter of the SEIU.

In a statement Lagstein told IVN San Diego the Board of Supervisors violated state law, “”They violated state law by requiring an ‘impact report’ on our initiative, even though that provision of state law was only intended to be used when the legislative body has discretion in placing a matter on the ballot, and by requiring two readings before the board before placing it on the ballot, even though state law requires only one.”

Lagstein continued, “Supporters of the FVPI are outraged by the incumbent Board of Supervisors complete disregard for the over 100,000 county voters who signed the initiative to ensure county officials are elected in November general elections when the most voters participate, not in very low turnout primary elections.”

Lagstein called the county’s move a “blatant and illegal use of procedural shenanigans.” Labor is reportedly exploring all options to get the measure on the November ballot.

Rollercoaster Measure

The measure has been the subject of drama from Sacramento to San Diego.

As reported by IVN San Diego, the initial measure was drafted incorrectly. Then Assemblyman Todd Gloria applied a retroactive fix that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

County Registrar Michael Vu had to first suspend his count when the original drafting error was discovered, then following the fix of the measure, had to resume a recount in time for the Board of Supervisors to nix the measure for the ballot.