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City Council To Consider Offering Long Ballot Measure Texts Online

City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole sits at the dais after her election as council ...

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Above: City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole sits at the dais after her election as council president, Dec. 12, 2016.

The San Diego City Council Tuesday is scheduled to consider final approval to municipal code changes that would give the city clerk's office the option to publish online the text of long ballot measures.

The proposal would affect propositions longer than 50 pages, except for amendments to the City Charter — the city's primary governing document. The plan was initially approved last month on a 7-2 vote.

RELATED: San Diego City Council Kills Funding For SoccerCity, Convention Center Expansion Special Election

Impetus for the proposal stems from the growing size of questions before voters for consideration, including the Chargers' failed initiative for a downtown stadium. The plan to redevelop the Qualcomm Stadium property in Mission Valley into SoccerCity runs into thousands of pages.

For measures in which the full text is published online, the ballot pamphlets received in the mail by voters would still contain the title and summary, legal and fiscal analyses, arguments and the first 20 pages of text.

When the city clerk recommends publishing a measure online, the City Council would make the final decision on whether to actually do so.

At last month's City Council meeting on the subject, City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said voters who want a printed copy can order one at no cost.

For the general election last November, county elections officials electronically published a ballot measure that ran over 600 pages, and only one voter requested a hard copy, according to her report. County elections officials have been authorized by the state to publish measures online since 2004.

Council members David Alvarez and Georgette Gomez opposed the plan in the first go-round because many low-income residents in their districts lack internet access.

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