Los Angeles voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved two measures to change city election dates. Voters will now cast ballots in mayoral, council district, and school board races in even-numbered years, rather than odd-numbered years. The change consolidates city elections with federal and state elections. “It turns out that sometimes, good policy is good politics,” said Fernando Guerra, co-chair of the committee that backed the measures, in a statement. “It’s gratifying that voters supported increased voter participation, and it’s even more gratifying that they did so by such an emphatic margin.”
Amid dwindling voter participation in Los Angeles city elections, the Los Angeles City Council voted last year to put Charter Amendments 1 and 2 before voters. Turnout was just 23 percent in the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral election, which led City Council President Herb Wesson and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to form a special committee to look at boosting political engagement.
The idea of moving elections was also supported by the LA 2020 Commission, a group formed by Wesson.
Supporters, which include several business, labor, and neighborhood groups, argued switching the city’s election cycle would draw more minorities to the polls, lessen the power of special interests in races, and reduce costs to the city.