SAN DIEGO, CA - October 11, 2022 — In their continued fight to protect election integrity, Alliance San Diego and voters have just filed their argument in a case before the California Appellate Court that calls into question the actions of the San Diego City Council to upend the March 2020 election results. At a time when the nation is still grappling with the dangerous attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, the San Diego case reminds us that abuse of power can happen anywhere.
The San Diego case arises from the actions of the City Council to change the vote threshold on a ballot measure to expand the convention center after the March 2020 election, declaring a different result than the one decided by voters more than a year after the election was held. Alliance San Diego and voters sued, charging that the City Council violated the law when it abused its power to change the election results. On March 9, 2022, a San Diego Superior Court Judge agreed, but the City appealed.
The question now before the appellate court is straightforward:
Is it fundamentally unfair for a city to conduct an election under one set of rules and then, a year later — long after the votes have been counted and the results have been certified by the elections official — change the rules and reverse the outcome of the election?
The lower court answered this question correctly when it determined that this election manipulation was indeed fundamentally unfair. In their brief filed today, Alliance San Diego and voters call on the appellate court to uphold the lower court’s opinion and end the City Council’s shenanigans.
Changing the rules of an election erodes trust in our democracy. Alliance San Diego and voters first brought this suit because the City Council broke the trust of voters. Their action to manipulate the election represents a dangerous disregard and disrespect for voters and for the integrity of the electoral process.
Election integrity and voter trust are vitally important to ensure we have an inclusive democracy that works for all of us. Just as the nation seeks to hold people accountable for the attempted subversion of the presidential election results, we must do the same in San Diego to protect our democracy.
Dr. Isidro D. Ortiz, ASD Board President, voter and litigant, said:
We cannot expect voters to trust in our democracy if there is no integrity to elections. Integrity is all about following the agreed upon rules, not bending them or disrespecting voters. Our fight to protect election integrity is a continuation of the civil rights movement — to protect the peoples’ right to decide elections without interference and without foul play — and we will continue our fight to ensure voters decide elections, not politicians.
Michael McConnell, voter, and litigant, said:
I joined this lawsuit to fight for fair and honest elections. San Diego city leaders need to start tackling our biggest issues in a way that builds trust, not erodes it. Many voters and taxpayers like me have lost trust in our city leaders because of moves like this. I am hopeful that the appellate court will check the city’s abuse of power, and return the power of election decisions to those who should have it — the voters.
About Alliance San Diego
Alliance San Diego is a non-profit and non-partisan community organization working to build a more inclusive democracy where everyone can achieve their full potential in an environment of harmony, safety, equality and justice.