Well, it’s that time again. I’ve received a sample ballot, but it’s an odd year, meaning an odd election:
- First, our city councilcritter for District 12, Mitch Englander, decided to quit his city council job to go work for Oak View Group, an entertainment and sports facilities company. He was the only Republican on the council, and still had two years left on his term. This means we’ve got a special election to fill his slot, with almost as many candidates running as there are announced Democrats running for President in 2020.
- Second, the LA Unified School District ended a teachers strike by making concessions to the teachers union. It then discovered that it didn’t have enough money to pay for those concessions, even though the state funding for education is the highest it has been in years. So they’ve put a parcel tax on the ballot. The net result is a special election, but there’s also a legal challenge meaning the election might not mean anything. The issue is whether the district improperly altered the ballot language without a public hearing and vote by the Board of Education.
There’s was another special election mid-May to fill a vacant LAUSD board seat. What that wasn’t combined with the parcel tax election, I have no idea.
So we have a situation where Council District 12 has two issues on the ballot (for which we’ve gotten voluminous mail — I’ve never gotten this much for a city council election before), and the rest of the city just has the parcel tax. Talk about a recipe for low turnout (and due to business travel, I’ll be voting absentee ballot).
Still, a sample ballot is a ballot, and calls for a ballot analysis. This may be LA County’s last election using ink-a-vote, unless we have something in November. In 2020, LA County is transitioning from polling places to vote centers, which will be open for 11 days, and voters will be able to vote at any center in LA County. How successful it will be is unknown, but hey, what can go wrong during the most critical Presidential election in this nation’s history.
On to the ballot analysis….