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Unions Urge Voters To Withdraw Pension Signatures

By, Katie Orr

Aired 9/23/11 on KPBS News.

There’s about a month left in the fight over an initiative that would eliminate San Diego city pensions for most new hires.

— There’s about a month left in the fight over an initiative that would eliminate San Diego city pensions for most new hires. Unions strongly oppose the measure, and they’ve opened a new front.

Supporters of the pension initiative need to collect more than 94,000 valid signatures to qualify the measure for the June ballot. Usually the idea is to try to stop someone before they sign a petition, but now opponents are using phone calls and e-mails to urge those who’ve already signed to have their signatures withdrawn.

San Diego City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said if you send her a written request with your name, address, signature and which petition you signed then your name will be removed - but she said timing matters.

"The state law basically says, prior to the day the petition is filed, which means the day before. So if the proponents were to turn the petition in on a Friday, the written request would have to come into my office by the Thursday before," she said.

That can get tricky because Maland doesn’t know when the petitions will be turned in. The deadline is October 16. Maland said so far she’s received two or three requests to have signatures withdrawn. She said the most she’s ever received for an initiative is about seven or eight.

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