A San Diego Primary Primer And A Proposal To Change The City Voting Process
The political focus is on Wisconsin today as that state holds its presidential primary. Efforts are already gearing up in California to what is very likely to be a very influential presidential election in June. People registered will be able to take part in choosing a presidential nominee in the primary. If you are registered as an independent, it's a little more complicated. Joining as is Michael Vu, San Diego County registrar of voters. Thank you for coming. The registers office has sent out nonpartisan voters can vote by mail. If they want to vote, it tells in their options. What are those options? So nonpartisan voters have the ability to select one of four options. They can select the nonpartisan version, the Democratic party valid -- ballot, the Republican or the independent. What you're saying, if a nonpartisan voter wants to vote -- in the Democratic presidential primary, they don't necessarily have to register as Democrats, but they have to request a mail in Democratic ballot. Is that right? That is correct. These are the nonpartisan voters who are signed up to be a permanent mail ballot voter. Or are signing up to receive their first ballot by mail. They would need to make a selection. A nonpartisan voter could select the Democratic Party ballot. Okay. What about nonpartisan voters who show up at the polls on June 7? May vote in the primary? They would be able to. They would be able to go to the poll workers at the voting place and they would look the party preference status and they will see they are nonpartisan voter. They would say here are your four options. The nonpartisan, Democratic, American independent, or libertarian. And if they want to vote in the Republican primary, even if they show up at the polls and say, okay I'm a nonpartisan, but I want to vote in the Republican presidential primary -- are they going to have to reregister as Republicans? If this is on election day, and a nonpartisan voter who has not rewrote it -- registered, the timeframe to reregister has already passed. They won't be able to select the Republican presidential party valid to vote on. Their choices are limited to the Democratic, independent party or the limitary -- libertarian. You have to be a registered Republican party member to be able to select the Republican Party ballot. By the way, it's not limited to just the Republican Party, the other two parties -- if you will, for lack of a better term have closed off their party is the Green party in peace and freedom party. That's pretty confusing. This is one of those issues that happens every four years where the party preference really does matter going into the primary election. It really affects the presidential race. It's really incumbent on voters to know what party preference they are well before election day. Hopefully well before the registration deadline. So they can act. That's what we are asking voters to do in our website at website@STvotes.com. Look up your party preference and if it's different than the presidential candidate you want to vote for, you can reregister with a political party. There's only one exception, and that is nonpartisan voters who have other options which includes the Democratic Party, the American independent party as well the independent party. There will be more on the June 7 ballot. You people have to be concerned about their party affiliates the -- affiliation to vote for any other office? There's only one other contest on the ballot that has a political party preference. That would be the central community candidates on the ballot. And so, if you are nonpartisan voter, and want to select the Democratic Party ticket for President, you will be able to do so. However, you won't see those central community candidates that will be on their. -- On there. US representative offices we will have on the ballot, those are what are known as, voter nominated were taught to contests. Political party does not weigh in and those types of contest. And there are issues in races that can be settled by this primary vote largely in the city of San Diego because of the way the city has's primary roles? Is that right? That's correct. Most nonpartisan offices, if you get 50% plus one vote, you avoid a when I -- runoff election. What about turnout? Do have any predictions? We ask you that a lot before elections and this has been -- I think it's fair to say, a pretty crazy election season so far. Do think that will stimulate a lot of interest? I think whenever you have a presidential race, you will see a higher turnout and you would normally not see in the other previous years. It was interesting, when we have a Carlsbad special election this past go around her we had 63% turnout, that was a pretty high turnout for a special election. It was because there were a number of voters that were really involved with how that turned out. The same goes with this presidential year. It's an open seat for the presidential race, there will be a number of contests on the ballot. I do believe it will be a higher turnout. In terms of turnaround -- turnout, the last residential election in 2012, we saw in the November election, a 27% turnout in four years prior to that, and 84% turnout. I believe we'll see something for this election. For this election, the last time there was an open sea like this, it was in the low 60% turnout. ASI it -- we're seeing interest other states and back go upwards of 60 to 70%. I've been speaking with Michael Vu. Thank you Michael. Think so much morning.
A San Diego Primary Primer
While Tuesday's political focus is on Wisconsin's presidential primary, California will have its turn in the state primary election on June 7.
People who are registered members of political parties will be able to take part. But for nonpartisan voters, it's a little more complicated.
The San Diego County Registrar of Voters sent out postcards to vote-by-mail non-partisan voters telling them their options if they want to vote in the presidential primary.
Voters who want to cast a ballot for Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent candidates must request a specific ballot by the deadline. Meanwhile, independent voters who want to participate in the Republican, Green or Peace and Freedom party primaries are required to reregister to vote. The deadline to make these changes is April 13.
Non-partisan voters should request a ballot by May 23. The San Diego elections that can be one in the primary by vote of 50% plus one are the subject of a reform effort. The independent project group wants the city to adopt the top two voter system. That would mean no candidate could win outright in the June primary. It would take voter approval to make that change to the San Diego city charter. Joining me is Jeff Marston, co-chair of the Independent Voters Project. Thank you morning. In your opinion, what is wrong with that current voting process? Basically winner take all in San Diego city primaries? From the standpoint of the independent voter tied to our core belief that democracy is both served when most people participate. You have a situation the primary election, take a look at the numbers -- go back the last three or four elections. Turnout for the general is usually at least twice as high as it was for the primary. When you break down into subgroups, African-American, Latino, Asian American and youth boaters -- it's three it's 3 to 5 times as high in the general. We believe you have a process and be called the primary for a reason. It's a primary because there is a secondary phase 2 it. This is important part of the voting process. We believe everybody should be able to participate. It doesn't just shut down in June when the fewest number of people show up. What is your group copy independent voter project? It was founded in 2006 by former State Senator. , Steve Peace. He spent -- he was in office for over 20 years. For the last couple of decades, he's been someone who is very vocal and outfront in terms of voter rights. Particularly as they relate to independent voters. You have what I call, the low hanging fruit, the disenfranchisement issue which is motor voter, voter ID and those kind of things. People have strong opinions of it. The plight of the independent voter has been largely overlooked. We see independent -- we see independent voters -- it is a mindset. You can see -- the registration numbers throughout the nation, Democrats and Republicans are plummeting and independence are going up. For new first-time voters, it is about to to when registering as in the powder -- independent. We are nonpartisan. We are the authors a proposition 14 which became the voters consent in 2010. The top two nonpartisan primary that Michael was referring to. You say is a -- this is about voter turnout. Why not push for increased voter turnout in the primary rather than changing the charter? That's a great question. It's part of the overall answer. We're looking at the facts. The facts are that the turnout is at least twice as high in the general. We encourage the political parties in all the voter rights groups and those that want increased turnout to do everything they can to increase the turnout. There is this irony of motor voter which increased registration, but unless you do something about turnout, you will see the numbers go from 41 to 36 because you have increased the unit. Turnout is the key here. Therefore, we believe that people, men and women should be elected to office when the greatest number of people participate and there's more time for complete dialogue amongst various communities on what these men and women's stand for who we want to represent us. San Diego turnout is typically higher in the primary -- in the general election. What have you heard from San Diego's Republican Party in response to this proposal? I have really haven't heard anything. Got brief feedback from the folks and leadership that they weren't too thrilled with this. But not specifics. Ironically, to be blunt, a friend I have talked to in their concern was is -- will this cost me more because I now have to contribute twice? Can't we just in this in June? Having been on that side of the table, I understand that argument. With all due respect, it's not a good enough argument when you get to 1% of actual voters contributing to these campaigns. It's not a good enough argument. A couple of those folks laughed and said this is why I'm not so thrilled about it. You have a form tonight. Four of the five candidates. Why do it to hold this public discussion? We want to start the conversation. It's something that really hasn't been -- people have keep it around a little bit. In political terms. Does this help or hurt? We don't care. That's not our issue. That's for the parties to figure out. Are whole issue is voter access and voter participation. We decided, let's use a form with those people. I will say, running for the least political of the offices, to talk about their views and voter access. That will be at, less stats tonight -- LaStats. From 6 PM to 8 PM. Thank you Jeff. Thank you Maureen. I appreciate your time. Coming up to me , Charman tells us more about the U.S. Senate race. It's 12:23 PM and you're listening to KPBS Midday Edition .
A Proposal To Change The City Voting Process
San Diego elections that can be won in the primary by a vote of 50 percent plus one are now the subject of a reform effort.
The Independent Voter Project wants the city of San Diego to adopt the top two vote-getter system currently used by the state. That would mean that no candidate could win outright in the June primary. But it would take voter approval to make that change to the San Diego City Charter.
The Independent Voter Project will discuss their proposed charter reform with four of the five San Diego City Attorney candidates at an event on Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lestat's West, 3341 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights.