OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Illegal Ballot Designations That No One Will Bother to Challenge

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 5, 2012

Looking through the candidate filing, I noticed a couple ballot designations that do not comply with the State Elections Code and Ballot Designation Regulations.  However, no one, not even their opponents, will bother to challenge them.

Fullerton City Council Recall Replacement

(Elections Code Section 13107(a) governs acceptable ballot designations.  Subparagraphs 1, 2, and 4 govern the designations of sitting elected officials, so only 13107(a)(3) applies to this post.)  A ballot designation must consist of the “principal professions, vocations, or occupations” of a candidate.  According to Secretary of State Regulation Section 20714(a):

  • “‘Profession’ means a field of employment requiring special education or skill and requiring knowledge of a particular discipline. The labor and skill involved in a profession is predominantly mental or intellectual, rather than physical or manual…”
  • “‘Vocation’ means a trade, a religious calling, or the work upon which a person, in most but not all cases, relies for his or her livelihood and spends a major portion of his or her time…”
  • “‘Occupation’ means the employment in which one regularly engages or follows as the means of making a livelihood…”

Roberta Reid has “Student” as her ballot designation.  Being a student is not a profession, vocation, or occupation, as defined by the Secretary of State’s regulations.  However, “student” is such a horrible designation that none of her opponents would challenge it.  Nearly any other ballot designation would help Reid, so anyone challenging the designation would probably be an ally.  I mean, really, who’s going to vote for a “student” on the ballot?

Note to all students running for office: Pick “Community Volunteer” as your ballot designation; it sounds good and is virtually unassailable for candidates without full-time jobs.

Democrats’ 55th Assembly District Central Committee

Molly A. Muro has “Business Opportunity Specialist” as her ballot designation.  Secretary of State Regulation Section 20716(e) specifically prohibits the word “specialist” as part of a ballot designation.  (Indeed, former Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi tried to user “Jobs/Economy Specialist” as his ballot designation in the 2010 Board of Equalization primary, but was forced to use “Jobs, Economy Analyst” instead.  Read more about Nakanishi’s attempt here from an old Red County post by Chris Emami and here from Nakanishi’s victorious opponent George Runner.)

However, no one is going to challenge Muro’s designation, even though “Business Opportunity Specialist” actually sounds pretty good.  The reason?  She’s one of three people running for six seats.  She will obviously win since three candidates for six seats means all the candidates win, and there’s still three vacancies left over.  Three more people could decide to run, and everyone running would still win.

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