Here’s the root of the problem. On March 24, 2009 barely 6 percent of registered voters showed up for a special election to fill a vacancy for California’s 26th Senate District. In an area with almost 1 million residents and 400,000 registered voters, only 23,000 civic-minded citizens decided who would replace former State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas (newly elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors).How much did this special election cost? A whopping $2.2 million of our tax dollars – nearly $100 per voter – according to the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk.
Unfortunately, we’re not even close to being finished. Since no candidate won a majority, we must hold a second election that will cost even more money. Because this is a heavily Democratic district, it is certain the Democratic nominee, Assemblymember Curren Price, will win. Yet Mr. Price must wait two months for a second election before he can be sworn in as State Senator.
Far from being “special”, special runoff elections cost millions of tax dollars to administer – at a time when governments have been forced to lay off schoolteachers and workers.