Cate, Kersey to suggest November-only elections

SAN DIEGO – San Diego city councilmen Chris Cate and Mark Kersey will recommend during Wednesday’s Rules Committee meeting a ballot measure proposal to implement November-only elections.

Currently, city code dictates that the top two June primary voter- getters in City Council, city attorney and mayoral races move on to the November general election.

That’s due to Measure K, which passed in 2016 to prevent candidates from winning with an outright majority in June, when voter turnout is typically low. Also passed that year, Measure L required that all citizens’ initiatives are voted on in November.

Kersey said the June primary still exerts an undue influence over November-only voters, and results in a longer, costlier campaign cycle.

“The passage of Measure K means municipal decisions are not made in June elections. A November-only model would save hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on city primaries that are no longer meaningful,” he said.

Possible replacements to the primary include ranked-choice voting or a top vote-getter system.

The former, also called instant run-off voting, allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference until one secures a majority after several voting rounds. In a top vote-getter system, all candidates appear on the ballot, and whoever receives the most votes wins the election.

“The intent of Measures K and L was to have the highest turnout electing our city’s leaders. This proposal will build upon these measures by allowing the most voters to vote for a full field of candidates, not just the top two, thus leveling our election playing field,” Cate said.