Supervisors OK Aug. 15 special election for Fletcher's seat
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of a special election on Aug. 15 to fill the District 4 seat vacated by Nathan Fletcher.
Should no candidate receive a majority vote in that election, the county will then hold a special general election Nov. 7.
The board also approved $5.2 million for the county Registrar of Voters to cover election costs. Officials said costs could range from $2.1 million to $2.6 million per each election.
As of now, three people are formally seeking the District 4 seat: Janessa Goldbeck, Monica Montgomery Steppe and Amy Reichert.
In an emailed statement after the vote, Reichert — who challenged Fletcher for the District 4 seat last November — said she was "thrilled that the election is officially on, and we can move forward as a community."
Earlier this month, supervisors voted 4-0 to advance a resolution for the election, which was proposed in the wake of Fletcher's announced resignation. They also heard from numerous residents who wanted a special election, rather than having the board appoint a replacement.
Fletcher, who sought treatment out of state for alcohol abuse and post- traumatic stress disorder, resigned from his seat effective May 15.
He announced his resignation March 29 after admitting to an affair with a Metropolitan Transit System employee who is suing him for alleged sexual assault and harassment.
He has denied those allegations.
On Tuesday, supervisors heard a presentation on how the county Registrar of Voters will spread the word about the Aug. 15 election via social media, local media outlets, flyers, direct mail and public service announcements.
Registrar Cynthia Paes also went through a timeline on how the election will be conducted, and how it will feature a minimum of 27 drop boxes and up to 14 vote centers.
"We will work with speed and accuracy to certify the election," she said.
Paes also said that information on the election will be offered in several languages besides English, including Spanish, Filipino and Chinese.
Michael Vu, an assistant chief administrative officer, said Paes "will have a narrow window to pull the election together."
During a public comment period, numerous residents urged supervisors to support robust public outreach, especially for such a racially and culturally diverse district.
Outreach efforts are especially important in a special election when turnout is likely to be low, said David Trujillo, an official with the American Civil Liberties Union for San Diego and Imperial counties.
Trujillo cited a recent Los Angeles municipal election that had extremely low turnout.
"We must do better," he said.