San Diego council considers reducing ballot pamphlet language to cut costs

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The City Council is expected to hold a special meeting Wednesday to consider reducing the size of two ballot measures that together total nearly 200 pages, in effect lowering the cost of printing ballot pamphlets for voters this November.

Those initiatives — one to fund construction of a Chargers  stadium/convention center annex and another to prevent waterfront expansion of the convention center and encourage use of Qualcomm stadium as a education and park center — are only two of a dozen city propositions on the ballot. There will be a total of 12 city, a few county and 17 state propositions for San Diego voters to consider.

All would need to be included in the ballot pamphlet sent to voters ahead of the November election, but city officials are concerned by the size and cost of voter pamphlets. City Clerk Elizabeth Maland told council members that the projected cost of the general election could reach $5.5 million. The budget is $4.17 million.

Usually, the state elections code guides the printing and mailing of ballot measures’ text. But if in certain situations the city and state may make measures available through alternative means, according to the City Attorney’s office, as long as the full copy of the measure can be obtained at no cost.

City staff recommends that instead of publishing the text of the two initiatives, the printed ballot pamphlet include the titles, ballot questions, summaries, impartial analyses and any arguments for and against each of the measures.

It would also include information that directs voters to an online version of the text and a phone number of where to get a printed copy.

The special council meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. at City Hall.

Categories: Local San Diego News