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When Will The San Diego Mayoral Runoff Be?

Above: City Councilmen Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez.

Aired 12/2/13 on KPBS News.

While the San Diego mayoral primary has long been over, the city won't be able to schedule the runoff election between City Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer until mid-December.

While the San Diego mayoral primary has long been over, the city won't be able to schedule the runoff election between City Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer until mid-December, according to San Diego City Clerk Elizabeth Maland.

Maland estimates the runoff will be in early February, but cautions that the official date will be set by the City Council and not until election results are certified.

The delayed scheduling of the runoff date comes because the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu is still certifying the primary's results, which is a lengthy process, Maland said. She added that Vu also has to certify signatures for a referendum to put the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update before voters, so he is busy.

Special Feature Special Election

Vu has until Tuesday, Dec. 17 to certify the results from the Nov. 19 primary, but Maland said he's hoping to be done sometime after Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Once the results are certified, the City Council will have to call a special meeting for Maland to present the certified election results and make a recommendation for what date to hold the runoff.

There are some laws that dictate when that runoff date can be, Maland said. Federal law says vote-by-mail ballots for overseas military voters must be sent out 45 days before an election, and Vu will need seven to 10 days to translate and print ballots. A special election also cannot be held the day before, day of, or day after a holiday.

Given those constraints, the mayoral runoff likely would be either Tuesday, Feb. 4 or Tuesday, Feb. 11, Maland said.

"I know a lot of people are predicting Feb. 11, but if Michael Vu somehow gets me those certifications before Dec. 10, I could bring them to the City Council on Dec. 9 or 10, and then we could have the election Feb. 4," she said. "So I don't want anyone to be making plans based on the assumption that the election will be Feb. 11."

While the San Diego City Charter says a special election runoff must be 49 days after a special election primary, the law concerning overseas military ballots makes that charter requirement impossible to meet, Maland said. She said San Diego hasn't been able to meet that requirement in at least eight years.

Maland is working to change the City Charter to increase the scheduling requirement for special election runoffs to 90 days.

She said Vu has projected the runoff election will cost between $4 million and $4.5 million, but cautioned that those projections can change.

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