Want to Run for a Local Office?
Last updated 4/6/2022 at 12:40pm
Local bodies that require public elections usually fill vacancies by appointment to ensure a majority of votes on their boards. Elections offer the only opportunity to challenge or replace these appointments through the democratic voting process. However, if there are no challengers, the Registrar of Voters does not place the seats on the ballot and affirms the appointments as official.
The filing period to run for local offices in the November 8 election, like the Borrego Springs Fire Protection Board of Directors, Borrego Springs Unified School District, and Borrego Water District Board, opens July 18 and closes August 12, 2022. These offices do not require a filing fee, the only fee is for the candidate statement, which is optional, and no signatures are required to file.
Typically, the only people filing are incumbents and appointments.
Seat One is up for grabs on the Borrego Water District Board. The seat replaces Lyle Brecht as a director. If no one applies, the election goes to the Board-appointed director, and there is no election on the ballot.
There are two seats: Seat 4 and 5 open on the Borrego Springs Fire Protection District Board of Directors. Appointments to fill these seats made by the Board will be affirmed, and there will be no election on the ballot without any challengers. The Board has 5 directors with three incumbents, some holding seats for as long as one and two decades. The last two appointments to fill vacancies were made in 2020 – 2021, and include family members of other Directors.
Borrego Unified School District has one seat up for election in 2022. The seat will be challenging an appointment filled by the District.
To file and run as a candidate for any of these seats, follow these three simple steps: 1) Contact the San Diego County Registrar of Voters at (858-565-5800) to verify that your address qualifies for the position. 2) Go in person to obtain the correct filing papers and reporting papers from the county elections office. Election administrators understand that first time candidates may have additional questions, like the amount of petition signatures, filing fees, or to double check filing windows/dates. 3) Submit the filing papers by August 12, 2022. Election deadlines are unforgiving and misunderstanding them will prevent you from appearing on the ballot. If you have any questions, contact the San Diego County Registrar of Voters-Elections Department, which can be reached by phone at (858) 565-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Experience would advise calling for questions; and a personal visit to the Registrar’s Office in San Diego to pick up and discuss the election package. Relying on emails for any purpose can be frustrating and non-productive. Also, take time to review the new election “Voters Choice Act’’ plan for the County, as well as the location of the Voter’s Center in Borrego, when it is published. (The Borrego Sun published an article on the changes resulting from the Voter’s Choice Act, which can be found on the internet).
Candidates are required to disclose both funds raised and expended, unless they are below $2,000. There are no limits on a contribution amount. In most races, candidates do very little to advertise themselves. However, it’s a good idea to consider companies that will place election signs in the County right of way for a price; providing supporters with house signs; sending or handing out fliers or post cards; and taking advantage of Borrego’s many social media (Facebook) sites. A good option is setting up a table at Borrego’s Farmers Market during the fall, prior to the November 8, election.
– Nikki Symington