By: OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer
A little known part of the election process under state law is the 10-day review period in which voters may file suit in the Superior Court to alter ballot designations and ballot statements that they find false or misleading. Ballot designations are the short job descriptions underneath each candidate’s name on the ballot while ballot statements are the quarter-page or half-page statements candidates place in the sample ballot for voters to read.
“This is an obscure part of the process that a lot of voters aren’t aware of,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “I applaud the quick resolution of all these cases by the courts in order to allow the Registrar of Voters to quickly begin preparing the ballot.”
There were five lawsuits filed involving the Orange County ballot. All five were resolved last week, with three resolved on Friday.
Candidate Troy Edgar sued the Orange County Registrar of Voters to be placed on the ballot for Clerk-Recorder. Edgar also sought to remove Assessor Webster Guillory and Superintendent of Schools Al Mijares from the ballot if he could not be placed on the ballot for Clerk-Recorder. The Orange County Superior Court rejected Edgar’s claims entirely, so Edgar will not be on the ballot while Guillory and Mijares will stay on the ballot.
Second Supervisorial District Candidate Allan Mansoor filed suit against the Registrar of Voters to change the ballot designation of “Taxpayer Advocate/Businesswoman” for candidate Michelle Steel. The Orange County Superior Court ruled that Steel would have to be called “Board of Equalization Member” on the ballot.
Auditor-Controller Candidate John Wayne Willard sued the Registrar of Voters to change the ballot designation of “Orange Treasurer/CPA” for candidate Eric Woolery. The Orange County Superior Court rejected Willard’s arguements entirely, so Woolery will remain “Orange Treasurer/CPA” on the ballot.
Laguna Niguel resident Todd Nugent filed suit to change the ballot designation of “Deputy Auditor-Controller” for candidate Frank Davies. Nugent’s challenge was successful, so Davies will now be called “Property Tax Director” on the ballot.
Mission Viejo resident Dale Tyler sued the California Secretary of State to remove a sentence in 73rd Assembly District Candidate Anna Bryson’s ballot statement: “On the school board, I returned $59 million to taxpayers.” The Sacramento County Superior Court ruled that rather than deleting the sentence, it would be changed to: “On the school board, I voted to save taxpayers approximately $59 million.”