Shall the City shift all City elections except special elections to even-numbered years after the November 2011 election?
Short answer, no.
The long answer is there should be a separation between the national and city elections. We want the city officials to be given the opportunity to properly introduce themselves, their values, and their policies. If the election of city officials occur at the same time as the president, they would get nil air time.
Proponents of proposition F point to the savings of $3 million if all the election processes were consolidated into the even-numbered year. But, any special elections that are called that may fall in an odd-numbered year will zero out the savings for the next year. Special elections are those called by the supervisors which is not a rare occurrence in the City.
Another reason for proposition F is the lack of participation during the odd-numbered years. The turnout for the November 2007 election was 35% of registered voters. On even-numbered years, on average the turnout is 60 to 70% depending on if the future president is involved. The lack of turnout during the odd numbered years is pretty bad but I rather not have that extra 30% who have no interest in voting for City officials in the first place.
These voters will be standing in their ballot booths, most likely seeing the names of the candidates for the first time. They wouldn’t be able to make an informed decision. They would most likely choose the official’s name which is the most familiar to them. The most familiar name would most likely be the incumbent.
I rather we spend the $3 million to separate the City elections from the national elections. An uninformed vote for a City position could cause the City to lose more than $3 million in the long run.
Vote no for Proposition F.