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Santa Monica Lowers Threshold For Nominating Signatures
By Jorge Casuso
July 8, 2020 -- (UPDATED) Santa Monica candidates will need to gather fewer signatures to get on the November 3 ballot under a new emergency order issued by the City Wednesday.
The order -- the 21st issued since the coronavirus emergency was declared in mid-March -- requires that nominating papers be signed by at least 30 registered voters, instead of 100.
The order comes after State and County election officials advised that physical -- and not electronic signatures -- are still required on nominating papers despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday's order "reduces the original signature requirement in light of the risks posed by personal contacts in the COVID-19 environment," City officials said.
Santa Monica’s municipal code requires candidates to gather no fewer than 100 voter signatures as part of their nomination.
The order comes days before Santa Monica kicks off its election season on Monday with the opening of the candidate nomination period, which runs through Friday, August 7.
Five City Council seats will be up for grabs in November -- four fulltime terms and one partial term.
They include the seats held by elected incumbents Gleam Davis, Terry O'Day and Ted Winterer, and the appointed seat held by Ana Jara.
A fifth seat held by Greg Morena before his resignation last month will be up for a partial two-year term ("Morena to Resign from City Council," June 17, 2020).
The Council on Tuesday is expected to fill the vancancy until the election ("Nearly 120 Applicants Seek Appointment to Vacant Council Seat," July 7, 2020).
Also on the ballot are three School Board Seats, three College Board seats and two seats on the Rent Control Board.
City officials are asking petition gatherers to wear a face covering; wash their hands frequently; properly sanitize surfaces, including pens and clipboards, and maintain social distancing when possible.
They are also asking candidates to use virtual social gatherings or campaign events instead of in-person gatherings, which are prohibited by the LA County Health Officer Order.
Candidates who want to learn about the nomination process can attend an online candidate workshop on Monday at 10 a.m.
Candidates must make an appointment with the City Clerk’s Office to pick up forms. Completed forms must be filed by Friday, August 7 at 5 p.m.
For election information visit smvote.org
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