California state legislative special elections, 2011

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2011 State Legislative
Special Elections

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In 2011, four special elections were held for the California State Legislature. These elections were called to fill vacancies in the California State Senate, Districts 1, 17, and 28, and the California State Assembly, District 4.

How vacancies are filled

If there is a vacancy in the California Legislature, the governor must call for a special election. The election must be called by the governor within fourteen days of the vacancy. No special election can be held if the vacancy happens in an election year and the nominating deadline passes.[1]

Partisan breakdown

The current partisan breakdown of the Senate is as follows:

Party As of October 2014
     Democratic Party 27
     Republican Party 12
     Vacancy 1
Total 40

The current partisan breakdown of the Assembly is as follows:

Party As of October 2014
     Democratic Party 55
     Republican Party 24
     Vacancy 1
Total 80

Special elections

January 4, 2011



February 15, 2011





March 8, 2011



May 3, 2011




Proposition 14

The elections on April 19, 2011 were the first to follow the new primary structure created by Proposition 14 which passed in June of 2010.[18] Under the new rules, all candidates will participate in a single primary with the top two candidates (unless one gets more than 50% of the vote) moving to a runoff in the general election. All registered voters may vote in the primary.

Filing controversy

On December 22, the California Secretary of State said that candidates for the April 19 election who wished to avoid paying a filing fee to have their name listed on the ballot could avoid the fee by collecting 3,000 signatures of registered voters on December 22 and December 23.

According to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1974 that the U.S. Constitution requires an alternative to filing fees, at least for poor candidates. And in 1974, the California Supreme Court ruled in Donovan v Brown that an alternative to the filing fee must be available to all candidates, rich or poor. A petitioning period of one and one-half days obviously does not satisfy due process. It is unparalleled in U.S. history for any state to require a candidate to collect 3,000 valid signatures in a single legislative district in just one and one-half days."[19]

See also

References

  1. California Legislative Information, "California Code," accessed May 22, 2014 (Referenced Statute, 1773-California Government Code)
  2. Capitol Weekly, "Dave Cox dies at 72," July 13, 2010
  3. Certified List of Candidates for January 4, 2011 Special Election in California
  4. California Secretary of State, Senate District 1 Districtwide Results
  5. California SOS, "Certified List of Candidates"
  6. LA Times, "Winners avoid runoffs in two special elections for California Senate," February 16, 2011"
  7. KHTS AM 1220, "Runner Resigns Today To Consolidate Election Process," December 21, 2010
  8. California Secretary of State, "Special Election Calendar"
  9. California SOS, "Certified List of Candidates"
  10. LA Times, "Winners avoid runoffs in two special elections for California Senate," February 16, 2011"
  11. The Sacramento Bee, "Gaines, Campanale make runoff in Assembly race," March 9 2011
  12. Los Angeles Times, "Brown calls special election for 4th Assembly District," January 11, 2011
  13. Mercury News, "Assembly race could produce open-primary runoff," March 8, 2011 (dead link)
  14. The Sacramento Bee, "Gaines, Campanale make runoff in Assembly race," March 9 2011
  15. Los Angeles Times, "Brown calls special election for 4th Assembly District," January 11, 2011
  16. Mercury News, "Assembly race could produce open-primary runoff," March 8, 2011 (dead link)
  17. Silicon Valley Mercury News, "Republican wins Northern Calif. Assembly seat," May 3, 2011 (dead link)
  18. Redondo Beach Patch, "Feb. 15 Set for Special Election to Fill Oropeza's Seat," December 17, 2010
  19. Ballot Access News, "California Secretary of State Posts Rules for Another Special Election, Sets One & One-Half Days to Collect Signatures in Lieu of Filing Fee," December 22, 2010