(This post will be an active post as I learn more over the next few months)
Anyone is allowed to submit an argument in favor or against a ballot proposal. The more elected officials and bona fide organizations that signoff the more likely it is to be chosen by the registrar of voters. They have a set of criteria that they need to follow. But it basically boils down to the argument that has signers that represent the most people. So government and bona fide organization having their officers sign is important.
In our case we had:
- David Casas Council Member City of Los Altos and former VTA Boardmember
- Patrick Moore Member, 1996 Measure B Citizens’ Watchdog Committee
- Greg Perry Member, VTA Board of Directors (and Mountain View Vice Mayor)
- Douglas McNea President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers’ Association
- Kevin Takenaga Chair, Libertarian Party
A nice goodly number of titled people. A goodly chance to get our voice heard.
Before measure is on ballot:
- Line up ballot argument signers. Trying to do this on a compressed schedule is difficult. And a compressed schedule is what you may have if the ballot argument is put on by a government body. In many cases, a government body can put a measure on the ballot only 63 days before the election.
- Get the signature forms and get them signed by the people you want to appear on the ballot statement. Get multiple forms and get the possible signers to sign multiple copies. This will allow for choosing exactly who will appear on the ballot very late in the game without having to run around collecting signatures again. You do not want to be scrambling around the day arguments are due trying to collect signatures. You may discover that a key person is out of town.
- Find out when the ballot argument due. Keep in mind that the Registrar has to translate the ballot into a zillion different languages. So this deadline will come faster than you think. For the June 6, 2006 ballot, main arguments were due March 15, 2006
- Know the word count limit and how the words are counted. For example, URLs may be counted differently.
Remember these are strict rules and this is a legal process. In legal processes, form counts for a lot. If you don’t follow the rules to the letter, that could be grounds for your argument to be discarded or challenged in court.