Los Angeles Voters Approve Charter Amendments 1 & 2

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  • Kathay Feng
LA voters move their election dates to the even year

LOS ANGELES, CA—Los Angeles voters took a step toward increasing voter turnout by approving Charter Amendments 1 with 77 percent of the vote and Charter Amendment 2 was approved with 76 percent. Only 8.6 percent of registered voters in the City of LA cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election.[1] As a result of these measures, starting in 2020, Los Angeles municipal elections will be held in June and November of even years, at the same time as state and federal elections.

“We have seen time and time again that when elections are moved to the even year, we see higher voter participation, and a greater diversity in voter participation,” said Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause. “This is only the beginning. There is still much more reform to be done to make sure that voter engagement and civic participation is as high as it should be.”

California Common Cause recently released a report on the benefits on Election Consolidation titled, Getting to 100%: How Changing the Election Date Can Improve Voter Turnout.  Research shows that consolidating local elections with federal and statewide elections on even years can boost voter turnout by 21-36% points, nearly double current voter turnout for local elections.

Candidates expenditures for City Council exceeded $5 million.[2] In addition to increasing voter turnout, Common Cause is committed to restoring public trust in our government institutions and holding elected officials accountable to their constituents. Later this month, Common Cause expects City Council to schedule a hearing on recommendations that have been made to improve the City’s matching funds program. The tentative date for the hearing is March 20th.

[1] Numbers based on unofficial results from the LA City Clerk
[2] http://ethics.lacity.org/disclosure/campaign/totals/public_election.cfm?election_id=5