word "election," and most people will think you're
referring to something that happened last November and sort
of ran over into December. A smaller number will think you're
talking about events that will take place in the City of
Los Angeles on April 10 and June 5. Relatively few are starting
to focus on March 6, 2001, yet this is an important day
on the election calendar.
Residents of over 45 cities in L.A. County are preparing
to go to the polls on March 6. They will have the opportunity
to vote for mayors, city council members, city clerks, city
treasurers, and a staggering array of ballot measures with
subjects including term limits, business licenses, land
use, and condom distribution.
From Calabasas to Claremont and from San Fernando to Signal
Hill, the March 6 elections involve close to 400 candidates.
Contests have been canceled in Rolling Hills, Hidden Hills,
and Rosemead, where the number of candidates equals the
number of positions to be filled, but high interest and
long ballots are the rule elsewhere. Beverly Hills boasts
12 candidates for 3 council seats. Monrovia has 7 candidates
for 2 council seats plus 3 candidates for Mayor. Carson
has 7 candidates for mayor plus 10 candidates for 2 council
seats. And so on through an alphabetical list from Artesia
to West Hollywood.
The March 6 election is the first to be affected by a new
law requiring voter registration to be accepted up to 15
days prior to voting day. This means that many city clerk's
offices will be working overtime to get sample ballots into
the mail in time for late-registering voters to make informed
decisions. Meanwhile, of course, LWV California's Smart
Voter will help to fill the information gap with on-line
A number of local Leagues from throughout L.A. County are
enthusiastically integrating Smart Voter into their voter
service programs for the first time. In doing so, they are
responding not only to pleas for help from Smart Voter coordinators,
but also to inquiries from city clerks, candidates, and
voters. There is no doubt that Smart Voter's reputation
is spreading, both inside and outside the League.
According to a recent survey, 86% found it quite easy to
find the information they needed on Smart Voter and 87%
found the information useful.
Check out Smart Voter at http://www.smartvoter.org.
For more information, contact Frances Talbott-White at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan
political organization that works to encourage participation
of citizens in government and to increase understanding
of major public policy issues.