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County Election Reform Bill Advances to Senate

On the same day that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors filled the vacancy for county’s elected District Attorney, legislation authored by San Diego's Democratic Assemblymember Todd Gloria to reform county elections for county-level officials received the approval of the Senate Elections Committee and advanced to its final stop in the legislative process: the State Senate floor. 

On June 20 the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee voted four to one to approve AB 901 -- jointly co-authored by Assemblymember Gloria and Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) -- and send it to the full State Senate for review and consideration.

“Today’s appointment by the Board of Supervisors is the latest example of why the County of San Diego needs election reform,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “More San Diegans should have a voice when selecting who gets to make the most important decisions facing our region. AB 901 will make certain our county-level elections are decided by the largest number of San Diegans.”

“The current statute allowing important local offices like, County Supervisor, Sheriff and District Attorney to be chosen in June is – in effect – a form of voter suppression,” said Assemblymember Shirley Weber. “AB 901 will ensure greater voter participation and that the public has sufficient time to be engaged in choosing the candidate who best represents them.”

AB 901 permits the charter of the County of San Diego to be amended by ballot proposition – submitted either by the County Board of Supervisors or a petition signed by 10% of qualified electors – to require candidates for any countywide office be elected in the November general election. This means that candidates who receive the highest and second highest number of votes during the Primary election would move on to the November general election.

AB 901 is supported by Alliance San Diego, Asian Pacific Islander Communications Actions, the Center for Policy Initiatives, the Employee Rights Center, Environmental Health Coalition, Independent Voter Project, San Diego Organizing Project, and SEIU California.