Governor Signs Legislation to Change Elections Process for County of San Diego Offices

Thursday, October 12, 2017

AB 901 by Assemblymembers Gloria and Weber Signed into Law, Bill to Allow More Voters to Decide County Elections

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation authored by California State Assemblymembers Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) that will allow races for County of San Diego offices to be decided in November as opposed to June and ensure the voices of more voters are heard in county elections.

For too long, the County of San Diego has employed a fast track to county-elected office by allowing candidates to be elected in June with only a fraction of eligible voters participating. We now have an opportunity to close that fast track,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “From the beginning, AB 901 has been about putting more voters at the table when decisions are made at the county-level. I am thankful Governor Brown agreed that this is a worthwhile goal and signed AB 901.”

AB 901 permits the charter of the County of San Diego to be amended by ballot proposition -- submitted by either the County Board of Supervisors or a voter initiative – to require candidates for countywide offices be elected in November, when the vast majority of voters participate. Candidates who receive the highest and second highest number of votes during the Primary Election would move on to the General. In the event there are only two (or fewer) candidates for a particular office, those names would only appear on the General Election ballot.

Under current law, candidates for county elected offices in the County of San Diego (Board of Supervisors, District Attorney, Sheriff, Treasurer/Tax Collector, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, and Board of Education) can be deemed elected if they receive more than 50 percent of the vote in the June Primary – meaning, there is no contest in November. This practice allows candidates to win elections with votes from only a small fraction of the people they would represent.

AB 901 is supported by SEIU California, California Professional Firefighters, the Environmental Health Coalition, the Independent Voter Project, the Center on Policy Initiatives, United Domestic Workers of America – AFSCME Local 3930, among others.

The full text of AB 901 can be found here.