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Judge Rejects Effort To Force Santa Maria To Put Elections Initiative On Ballot

Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 5:37pm

A judge rejected an effort to force a Central Coast city to put an initiative on the November ballot.

A group gathered signatures seeking to change the way the Santa Maria City Council is elected, with the intention of improving minority representation by shifting from at large, to district elections.

But, the Santa Maria City Clerk’s office ruled that the completed petitions

didn’t follow the correct format required under the state’s elections code, and didn’t have proper labeling.

The City Attorney’s office ruled that the Clerk’s office doesn’t have the legal latitude to overlook the mistakes.

Supporters of the group sued, but a judge dismissed the petition for a writ of mandate.

While the judge ruled against the city on those grounds, he found that a reference required by the state legislature which certifies that those circulating the petition are 18 or older was enough to dismiss the challenge.

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