Community Editorial: No One Should Run Unopposed

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Webster’s dictionary defines DEMOCRACY as..

“… a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws.”

One of the basic principles of a democracy is that its citizens get to vote.

However, we have a election here locally in which we will not have a choice, unless something happens by May 20, 2014.

In case you are not aware, the new electoral redistricting lines will take effect in the 2014 elections.

California’s new Senate District 36 now includes not only 15.3% of Orange County, but also 15.4% of San Diego County.

Orange County Board of Supervisor and Republican Pat Bates is terming out of her current position and is running for California State Senate District 36 legislative office in this June’s primary election.

Unopposed!

That’s right, at this time she is the one and only candidate.

This is unconscionable.

Aren’t we supposed to be living in a democracy?

I don’t think I need to remind anyone of the people who have died for the privilege of having a choice or the people in countries who still do not have a choice.

But wait, there is still hope!

According to the California Election Code, there is still time to qualify to be a write-in candidate!

Some people may think it is impossible for a write-in candidate to win an election.

That assumption is unfounded as write-in candidates, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, have all successfully won elections in the U.S. in the past.

In fact, the practice of recognizing write-in candidates is typically viewed internationally as an American tradition.

Write-In candidates for voter-nominated offices may be nominated at the June primary election, by fulfilling the requirements of Part 3 of Division 8 of the Elections Code commencing at Section 8600 by May 20, 2014.

In addition, the Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, took effect January 1, 2011 and created what now is known as “voter-nominated” offices.

Most of the offices that were previously known as “partisan” are now known as “voter-nominated” offices, state legislative offices being one of them. All candidates for voter-nominated offices are listed on one ballot and only the top two vote-getters in the primary election – regardless of party preference – move on to the general election.

Write-in candidates for voter-nominated offices can run in the primary election and will also move to the general election if he or she is one of the top two vote-getters in the June primary election.

At this late date, write-in candidates will not be on your ballot in June, so the office of the Orange County Registrar of Voters advises when you reach your polling place on election night, you must ask for the list of write-in candidates. The list will not be provided to you automatically.

And ……if you have not yet registered to vote, you can still do so online. The deadline to register or re-register to vote for any election is 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the 15th calendar day before that election.

Come on folks, surely there is someone out of the 3 million people of Orange County or 3 million people of San Diego County who would be a great write-in candidate and could represent those of us who want and deserve choice.

Rose Tingle is a longtime Orange County resident, is active on animal rights issues and serves on the Voice of OC Community Editorial Board.

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