The California Nonpartisan Secretary of State Amendment
will not be on the November 4, 2014, ballot
as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment
. The measure would have designated the Office of the Secretary of State
as a nonpartisan
office and required that initiative or referendum
petitions be submitted to the Secretary of State instead of the Attorney General
The amendment was proposed in the California Legislature by State Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-44) as Assembly Constitutional Amendment 12.
- Rep. Jeff Gorell (R-44) said, "People go into the booth to elect the secretary of State they believe will divorce themselves from politics, divorce themselves from partisanship, and be honest, trustworthy and objective in not only counting the votes, certifying the election, but enfranchising voters throughout the state of California regardless of party."
- Joel Fox, President of the Small Business Action Committee and Editor of Fox & Hounds, said that the proposed amendment was recognizing a serious problem, but would not solve the problem. He stated, "Even a nonpartisan elected office will draw partisan candidates for the job. Most would probably want to seek other elected offices once they complete their term. How an elected Secretary of State writes a ballot measure synopsis would still matter to fervent partisans. The Legislative Analyst’s Office or an independent panel should write the title and summary of ballot measures."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the California Constitution
A two-thirds vote was required in both chambers of the California Legislature to place an amendment on the ballot.
The timeline for Assembly Constitutional Amendment #12 was: