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Group Says It Will Go To Court Over Santa Maria’s Denial Of Ballot Proposal

Posted on Friday, April 18, 2014 2:31pm

A group backing a proposal to ask voters to change how the Santa Maria City Council is elected says it will go to court after elections officials rejected putting it on the ballot, citing technicalities with the petitions.

Last week, the Santa Maria City Clerk’s office rejected petitions to qualify the proposal for the ballot, saying there were formatting and wording issues which didn’t meet the election code.

The clerk’s office says the law doesn’t give it the latitude to overlook mistakes.

The social, and political advocacy group CAUSE is blasting the city’s action, saying the city is shamelessly interfering with the democratic process because of irrelevant technicalities.  CAUSE hopes a judge will clear the way for the measure to be placed on the ballot.

The proposal called for asking Santa Maria’s voters to shift City Council elections from the current at-large system to district elections.

It’s believed such a change would give the city’s heavily Hispanic population more representation on the City Council.

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