Santa Cruz County Elections

June 22, 2010
Special Vacancy Primary Election
15th State Senate District

Important Questions and Answers about the Special Vacancy Election to fill the 15th State Senate District


Why is this election being held?

The Governor appointed former Senator Abel Maldonado to Lieutenant Governor thereby causing a vacancy in the 15th State Senate District. By law, the Governor sets the date for the election. The Governor has 14-days from the date a vacancy is created. Maldonado resigned from his Senate seat on April 27 and that same day the Governor called for the run-off election to occur within 126 days from April 27, which is August 17 and set the primary for 8 Tuesdays prior which is June 22.

State election law allows for one of the special elections to be on the same ballot as the November 2 statewide election as long as it is within 180 days of the Governor calling the election. The Governor had the option to wait until May 6 and consolidate the run-off election with November 2.

Despite urging from the five counties involved and several organizations, the Governor did not consolidate the run-off election with the November 2, 2010 election and set the primary for August 31. Therefore, there are two elections scheduled this summer, June 22 and August 17.

How is the Special Vacancy Primary ballot different from a regular Primary ballot?

In a Special Vacancy Primary, all candidates from all political parties and independents appear on one ballot. If no candidate gets 50% plus 1 in the June 22 Primary, then the top vote-getter for each party will appear on the run-off ballot on August 17.

In this case, if no one gets 50% plus 1 in June, the same four candidates will appear on the run-off ballot on August 17 since each represents a different party or independent. In August, the top vote getter will be elected.

Why is the Special Primary set for June 22 and not with the June 8 Election?

It was too late to place the special primary election on the June 8 ballot. There must be time to

allow for the qualification of candidates, and translation and printing of election materials. The election materials for the June 8 election were finalized before the Governor called the Special Election.

When will I receive my voting materials for the June 22 election?

Voting material, including vote by mail ballots and the Voter Information Pamphlet may be mailed by May 29, 2010, which is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Most likely ballots and voting materials will be mailed out on Tuesday June 1, due to the Monday holiday.

It will be important for voters to watch for this Special Primary Election materials in their mailbox so they do not forget to participate.

What is the last day to Register to Vote in the June 22 Special Primary?

Monday, June 7, is the last day to register to vote in the June 22 Special Primary Election.

Will my assigned polling place be the same as the June 8 primary election?

More voters may be assigned to one voting precinct in a special election versus a statewide election. Also, because of the late notice of calling this election, calling it two weeks after a Statewide Primary Election, and calling it for a day when many facilities are not available, Santa Cruz County will have 7 polling locations in the 15th State Senate District where voters are assigned to vote.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22.

Can I vote early?

Yes. You can vote early starting June 1, since the first day by law, May 29, falls on a Saturday of a three-day weekend.

To vote early you can go to:

Santa Cruz Elections Department (Tel: 831-454-2060)
701 Ocean St., Room 210
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Watsonville City Clerk’s Office (Tel: 831-768-3040)
275 Main St., 4th Floor
Monday – Thursday (closed Friday): 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For Weekend Voting on Saturday, June 19 you may go to either address listed above, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The early voting poll workers will give you a ballot. You can vote there, or take your ballot home and return it later. If you want a relative or someone you live with to pick up your ballot, you must fill out and sign an application for a vote-by-mail ballot. An application is on the back cover of this Pamphlet.

Can I vote by mail?

Yes! You can vote by mail for this election only, or for all future elections. But you must fill out an application.

There is a vote-by-mail application online at:

We must receive your application by June 15.

You can mail it, take it, or fax it to us at: 831-454-2445

Overseas voters, military personnel and their dependents can get a vote-by-mail ballot by asking your commanding officer, or go to:

How much will this Special Vacancy Election cost?

Santa Cruz County estimates the cost of the June 22 election will be $300,000 and the cost of the August 17 election will be an additional $300,000 for a total of $600,000. For all five counties in Senate District 15, these elections may cost more than $6 million. For more details on the process for calling the special vacancy election, please contact the Governor’s Office at 916-445-2841, FAX 916-558-3160, .

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