By Anna Marie Gott
The definition of election rigging is "the act of dishonestly organizing an election to get a particular result." In a nutshell, it is a basic interference with the election process which starts with endorsements. In my opinion, our local Democratic organizations rigged the endorsement process by moving up the date that Democratic Party endorses candidates up. They did this to "clear the field of prospective rivals"
, which is acknowledged by the leaders of the local Democratic organizations.
In 2011, as an example, endorsements were made in May
. However, this year endorsements were made in MARCH
. This is a full 3 months earlier than in years past.
Pushing up Democratic Party endorsements when there are few candidates, or a single candidate, in the race isn't Democratic. It just ensures that early deciders have a leg up. It doesn't mean that these individuals are the best candidate or that they have broad appeal, as we have seen in this years election.
Cathy Murillo benefited from this rigged Democratic Party endorsement system and voters were disenfranchised as a result of it. A Member of the Democratic Party commented
on the early endorsement of Murillo:
"For the DCC to endorse candidates this early in the process is irresponsible and a middle finger to the democratic process. The message is that the choices made are self serving to the party without regard to qualification and vision of those pending declaration of intent to run. Go ahead and follow the same path that screwed us on the big one and maybe the results will be different this time."
This rigged endorsement process has caused fissures in the local Democratic Party as many Democratic leaders refused to coalesces around Murillo and instead endorsed other Mayoral Candidates feeling they were better candidates for Mayor. Others voiced their support in the 11th hour. If Murillo was even partially acceptable Democratic leaders would likely have fell in line, but they didn't. That, in and of itself, is telling and it shows that Murillo is out of step with many Democrats.
The op ed I wrote last week, titled Don't be Bullied
, is based upon facts that are easily verified surrounding when endorsements occurred and when candidates announced. Murillo's first big endorsement was in March and the other Democratic candidates were not in the running yet, as Bendy White and Hal Conklin did not announce their candidacies until May and July. This was like shooting fish in a barrel for Murillo and the only way she could have been endorsed.
As I said last week, the best course is to stay the course, and vote for the best candidate. Don't vote for a divisive and ineffective Mayor out of fear of a Republican victory because you were bullied by a Democratic Party who rigged the endorsement process. Instead vote for a policy wonk, who can has unparalleled skilled at building consensus, has the experience needed to be Mayor, someone who knows the City inside and is independent from the political machinery which ran amok in the endorsement process this year.
There are two ways to get your ballot in the day of the Election. You can mail it or drop it off.
If you mail in your ballot be sure to get it in early or hand walk your ballot into a retail location from 5pm to 6pm.The Post Offices below are open to 6pm:
Election Day Drop Off Locations Open:
Tuesday, November 7, 2017: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
City of Santa Barbara, City Hall - Lobby
Franklin Neighborhood Center - Multipurpose Room
Harding Elementary School, Room 1
First Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Room