While the CIty Council ran circles around Jose Huizar’s “Voter Bill of Rights” on Friday, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich was proposing how to reform the Neighborhood Council election process to give the system more legitimacy.
With the deadline for action looming Tuesday, Huizar’s colleagues stalled votes on his proposals for Charter reforms to provide more money in city matching funds to candidates and instant runoff voting and watered-down the effort to extend mail-in ballots automatically to all registered voters to a possible ordinance for a test in the next Council special election.
That could come sooner than many might expect if Richard Alarcon is convicted of perjury and voter fraud.
Trutanich honed on three changes to NC elections:
1) clarifying the term “factual basis” stakeholder
2) establishing voter pre-registration, which will allow Neighborhood Council leaders to take a greater role in the determination of stakeholders eligibility to vote, while streamlining the election process for the City Clerk
3) requiring documentary proof of stakeholder status rather than granting voting privileges based on the voter’s self-affirmation of his or her stakeholder status.
“The stakeholder definition allowed individuals to assert any basis for their involvement with a Neighborhood Council,” Trutanich said in his letter to the City Council.
“Stakeholders” should be required to show “an ongoing and significant interest in a community,” he said.
.”The key problem is the CIty Council’s 2008 change that expanded the definition of a stakeholder to include anyone “who lives, works or owns property in the neighborhood and any individual who declares a stake in the neighborhood and affirms the factual basis for it.”
“Accordingly, the definition should provide criteria upon which to demonstrate a nexus with the neighborhood in order to ensure that a voter’s stake in the neighborhood is not merely incidental, but ongoing and continuous.”
Read the full letter (trutanich-NC.rtf).