November-Only Ballot Proposal Fails in Committee

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A ballot measure proposal by San Diego City Councilmen Chris Cate and Mark Kersey to implement November-only elections failed during today's Rules Committee meeting.

Cate and Kersey supported the measure, while City Council members Barbara Bry, Chris Ward and Myrtle Cole voted against it.

Bry said the city would need to do much more research before floating a measure to nix city elections from the June primary, which still would have been used for regional, state and national elections.``I think this is something that would be totally confusing to voters,'' she said. Currently, city code dictates that the top two June primary vote 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. Cate and Kersey said the June primary still disenfranchises November-only voters whose preferred candidate didn't pass the June primary. They also said the primary creates an unnecessarily long and costly campaign cycle. 

Their potential replacements included 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.

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