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San Jose, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago hold their mayoral elections during non-presidential election years. So do Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle.
The idea is to give voters a better opportunity to focus on local issues, rather than having a mayoral race compete for attention with the political bombardment that takes place during presidential election years. Or had you forgot that Joe Biden and Donald Trump spent a total of $6.6 billion in 2020 trying to win voter support?
It would take a huge outlay of money to get your voice heard in San Jose through advertisements and news coverage in 2024 amid what is projected to be one of most heated presidential races in US history. Yet, a coalition of labor and other special interest groups are pushing Measure B on the June 7 ballot, which would move San Jose’s mayoral election to presidential election years.
The winner of the 2022 mayor race would serve for two years, rather than the usual four, and then the city would hold mayoral elections again in 2024. Measure B would also allow the winner of the 2022 election to potentially serve 10 years rather than the usual limit of eight.
Voters should reject Measure B.
Shifting San Jose’s mayoral election to presidential years and forcing candidates to raise more money to have their voices heard would give an edge to mayoral candidates backed by big-money interests and force candidates with limited financial resources out of the race.
Supporters of Measure B, including the South Bay Labor Council, Asian Law Alliance and Silicon Valley Minority Business Consortium, say that moving the election would increase voter turnout. But supporters of higher voter turnout — and that should include everyone — should put their efforts behind getting higher voter turnout in all elections — and ensuring voters are also well-informed.
Vote no on Measure B.