Why Vote No?
In a city where low voter turnout is already a problem, the two at-large district system with ranked-choice voting with single-transferable vote is not going to lead to fresh faces on the City Council elected by Asian-American, African-American and Latino voters. It will preserve the same faces who have stayed on City Council for years, decades even, and keep the revolving door going. Measure A fails to empower our communities of color.
If Measure A passes, lawyers can still sue Santa Clara because Measure A is a suspect plan: the two at-large districts are too similar to the at-large district that started the lawsuit. Measure A could end up costing us millions more in lawsuits and fines.
Measure A will disproportionately disenfranchise API voters, Latino voters, and seniors. It will open the door for mistakes that can spoil or disqualify ballots from deciding an election, especially when Santa Clara is reluctant to fully implement voter education.
Voting should be straightforward for all Santa Clara voters. But Measure A's complicated and unpredictable formula used for "ranked-choice voting with single-transferrable vote" makes it difficult for voters to make informed, strategic decisions.
There are no published studies on the effect of ranked-choice voting by single transferrable vote on California elections, because there are no such elections to study. The City understands that it can't adequately educate voters in time for the June election.
What happens if I vote No?
If Measure A is adopted, lawyers can continue to sue and appeal the city's election system as violating the California Voting Rights Act, a costly litigation process for Santa Clara. If Measure A is defeated, a range of possibilities emerge. City Council or a citizen committee could explore more election systems. A judge could consider reforming Santa Clara's elections.
Neighborhood districts is the appropriate remedy for Santa Clara’s at-large elections, and will ensure that candidates of the minority voters’ choice are elected!