County Coalition launches signature drive to maximize voter participation

January 19, 2018

SAN DIEGO - Today a broad a broad coalition of taxpayers, community and voting rights leaders, unions and good government advocates across the political spectrum announced they have launched a signature drive to qualify the Full Voter Participation Measure for the November 2018 ballot. 

If approved by voters, the measure would ensure that all San Diego County elections are decided in November when the most people vote.  The current system allows candidates to win outright in the June primary when as few as 20 percent of the people vote. The initiative would make county elections consistent with elections for the city of San Diego, as well as state (State Assembly, State Senate) and federal (Congress and US Senate) elections.

“This is about democracy, and democracy is best served when the most people participate,” said Jeff Marston of the Independent Voter Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging nonpartisan voters to participate in the electoral process. “This measure will ensure that when it comes to big decisions that impact our county, the most people will be participating at the ballot box.”

The measure would require a November run-off of the top-two candidates for County Supervisor, District Attorney, Sheriff, Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk, Treasurer-Tax Collector and members of the County Board of Education.

“The County’s current system gives special interests more influence in the June election for these important County positions,” said Paola Martinez-Montes, director of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, a grassroots organization that fights for economic, racial and social justice. “That excludes many voters out from the process.” 

In 2016, 58 percent of voters approved Measure K, which will ensure that all elections will be decided in November for the City of San Diego.  Last year, Assemblyman Todd Gloria authored AB 901, which was approved and signed by Governor Brown, to pave the way for this initiative.  AB 901 authorized amendments to the County charter which allow voters the option to require that elections be decided in November by initiative or by legislation, making the proposed initiative in compliance with state law.

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The Full Voter Participation Measure is supported by a broad coalition of taxpayers, community and voting rights leaders, unions and good government advocates across the political spectrum. 

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