Tight timeline for new-state ballot stands

Written by Jessica Cejnar, The Triplicate March 05, 2014 10:35 am

There’s also slight chance advisory vote may be delayed

County supervisors’ approval of a Jefferson-state advisory measure for the June 3 ballot means tight deadlines for those wanting to submit arguments for and against the movement, according to the Del Norte County elections officer.

There is also a slim chance that the measure won’t appear on the June primary ballot despite the supervisors’ decision last week, County Elections Officer Alissia Northrup said.

The measure asks voters to weigh in on whether supervisors should support a declaration to withdraw from California to join a proposed new state of Jefferson. Supervisors approved plans for the vote Tuesday, two days before hearing from county staff members about how much state funding Del Norte relies on to provide services.

The County Elections Office will accept arguments and rebuttals to appear on the sample ballot mailed to voters until 5 p.m. Monday, Northrup said. Arguments must be 300 words or less and must be submitted to the office with a completed statement of accuracy form, she said.

“That has to be submitted with every argument,” Northrup said. “That will be on our website or in my office.”

One argument for and against and one rebuttal on each side of the issue will be included on the sample ballot for the June 3 primary, Northrup said.

But according to California Elections Code 9603, if including the advisory measure makes it necessary to add a page to the ballot, it will not be included in that election.

“Primary ballots can be very large,” Northrup said, adding that this year’s ballot will feature candidates for Congress, governor, lieutenant governor, Assembly and state Senate as well as the local races. “If it goes to a two-card ballot anyway, that’s fine, but if (the measure) alone were to push it to a two-card ballot then we don’t do it. When you go to a two-card ballot, printing costs go through the roof.”

This rule does not apply to initiatives or other policy-changing measures, Northrup said.

Del Norte’s advisory measure is modeled after a similar one Tehama County supervisors approved recently. Del Norte supervisors on Feb. 25 voted 3-2 to change the measure to specifically mention the state of Jefferson.

Regardless of how people vote in June, supervisors would have the final decision on whether it supports a declaration attempting to withdraw from the state of California to help form Jefferson. Siskiyou, Modoc and Glenn counties have approved declarations to withdraw from the state of California.

Placing the advisory measure on the ballot will cost about $4,000, according to county Administrative Officer Jay Sarina.

According to County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr, the June 3 ballot goes to the printer March 21.

Arguments may be delivered to Alissia Northrup at the Del Norte County Registrar of Voters at 981 H St., Suite 160, Crescent City, CA 95531.

For more information, call the Registrar of Voters office at 465-0383.

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