Long Beach Voters May Consider Election Charter Amendments
Long Beach voters will decide on two election charter amendments that will permanently align city and school board elections with state elections. Until the 2020 election, Long Beach held city elections in odd-numbered years. The state, of course, has its elections during even-numbered years.
The Long Beach City Council is proposing two election charter amendments for the fall ballot:
- Align school board elections with the statewide election.
- Align city elections with the statewide election.
Background on Election Charter Amendments
Long Beach used to hold its elections for city-wide office and the school board in odd-numbered years. Many cities did this.
The state, of course, holds its elections during even-numbered years. This practice is in alignment with federal elections.
The state passed the Voter Participation Rights Act in 2015. This law required cities to hold elections in even-numbered years if their odd-numbered election year did not have enough voter turnout.
The attorney general later confirmed that the law applied to charter cities, of which Long Beach is one.
Long Beach, in response, passed a resolution to comply with the law.
The California Supreme Court in 2020, however, decided the Voter Participation Rights Act did not apply to charter cities.
In response to the court's decision, the city is deciding on the charter amendments to make permanent the decision to hold its elections with the statewide elections.
The belief is that voter turnout benefits from the change.
Election Charter Amendments Next Steps
This week the city council will take a procedural vote to place the charter amendments on the fall ballot.
Members of the city council are also members of the Charter Amendment Committee. The Charter Amendment Committee has already approved the two charter amendments.
According to city polling, 60% of Long Beach voters are likely to support the amendment.
A majority of voters would need to support the charter amendments for them to pass.
If approved, voters will continue to vote for Long Beach city races in the same elections as for president or governor.
With three other charter amendments, a mayor's race, and three city council races on the ballot this year, Long Beach voters have much to consider.
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