California Bill, Easing Petition in Lieu of Filing Fee in Special Elections, Passes Legislature

On August 7, California AB 2233 passed the State Senate, so it is now through the legislature and on its way to Governor Jerry Brown. It lowers the number of signatures in lieu of filing fee in special elections, on the grounds that the petitioning period in special elections is invariably much shorter than in regularly-scheduled elections.

The vote was 30-3. The only “no” votes were from southern California Democrats Ted Lieu, Ricardo Lara, and Marty Block.


California Bill, Easing Petition in Lieu of Filing Fee in Special Elections, Passes Legislature — No Comments

  1. The 9th USA Parliament is giving both the state of California and the United Nations some friendly competition on the state and international levels by creating working models for pure proportional representation (PR):

    Rules for the 7th California Super-state Parliament’s “Mock Unity Coalition” of 2014 have recently been Approved:

  2. Richard, what are the petitions requirements in this new legislation?

  3. The normal petitioning period is 90 days. The number of signatures shall be reduced in proportion to how many days are allowed for collecting signatures in the special election. So if only 30 days are allowed, the number of signatures is cut down to one-third. The normal petitions in lieu of filing fee are 10,000 for statewide office, 3,000 US House and State Senate, and 1,500 for lower house of the legislature.

  4. It is proportional to the period during which in lieu of signature can be gathered, relative to the ordinary period before a general election.

    The ordinary period for collecting in-lieu-of signatures is 55 days.

    The collection period for special elections can vary widely. In California a special election is 126-140 days (18-20 weeks) from the date of the governor’s proclamation.

    The special primary is 9 weeks prior to that, but can be 10 weeks if the primary would fall on the day after a state holiday.

    The filing deadline is 53 days before the primary. This can be as short as 3 days to as long as 24 days after the governor’s proclamation. In lieu of signatures may not be collected prior to the governor’s proclamation and are due before the filing deadline.

    In 2013, the governor on March 26 called a special election for July 30, 126 days later. Ordinarily, the primary would have been on May 28, but since that was the day after Memorial Day, the primary was on May 21.

    53 days before May 21 was March 29. So the regular filing period was March 26 to March 29 (or 4 days). The in lieu of period ended on March 28. So assuming that someone was aware of the governor’s proclamation, they would have had 3 days to collect 1500 signatures, or pay the $900 fee.

    Only two candidates qualified, along with two write-ins. Under the new law, the number of in lieu of signatures would be 3/55 of 1500 or 82 signatures (except there is minimum of 100 signatures).

    If the special election or the special primary could be held on a statewide election day, it may be delayed to up to 180 days from the time of the governor’s proclamation. The most recent special election was scheduled to coincide with June primary. It had an in lieu of filing period of December 6, 2013 to January 16, or 41 days. So in that case the reduction would have been from 41/55 of 3000 signatures or 2236. As it turned out, the special runoff was needed, so it simply meant that the special election was delayed.

    For the most recent special elections, the in-lieu-of period has been 41, 5, 18, 8, 3, and 54 days.

  5. Richard:

    Isn’t it interesting that Lieu from Southern California was first elected to BOTH the Assembly and State Senate in special elections opposed this reasonable and fair election law change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *