Castaic Union School District officially moves to even-year elections

Castaic Union School District Building. Dan Watson/The Signal
Castaic Union School District Building. Dan Watson/The Signal

Castaic Union School District (CUSD) elections will soon align with statewide general elections.

Governing Board elections in the district will now be held in even years instead of odd years, according to an announcement from the school district Tuesday.

On April 19, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the district’s request to move its governing board member elections from the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November of odd years, to the same day on even years.

This new election schedule will align with the statewide general elections and will begin with the November 2018 election.

The change in election years will also align the CUSD board with California Senate Bill 415, “California Voter Participation Rights Act,” which takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The bill prohibits local governments from holding election dates different from state wide elections if “the voter turnout in in past local elections has resulted in a significant decrease in voter turnout.”

According to a December 2016 board meeting, in CUSD only 2,088 ballots were cast out of 11,313 registered voters in 2015.

This resulted in an 18 percent voter turnout and a violation of the soon-to-be instituted Voter Participation Rights Act, according to a report from the National Demographics Corporation.

The new election years will help the district avoid litigation and increase voter participation.

It also will alter board member terms.  Terms set to expire in November 2017 will now extend to November 2018 and terms expiring in November 2019 will extend to November 2020.

For current board members, this means that the terms of Susan Christopher, Fred Malcomb, Laura Pearson and newly-appointed Mayreen Burk will extend to 2018, and the term of Stacy Dobbs will extend to 2020.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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