No action taken today regarding a request to change the ballot wording for Measure S. Instead, Judge Thomas Anderson elected to set a date for Friday morning to hear the merits of the request. The request for a language change came from Patricia Smith earlier this week in a petition submitted by Attorney Stephen Munkelt. The petition alleges the current ballot language violates election code and the fundamental principal of neutrality.
In a brief session Wednesday morning Judge Anderson asked County Council if any information with the language in question about Measure S would be mailed or distributed in any fashion prior to the scheduled mail date of October 7. After an attempt to explain that any ruling to change the language would have a substantial impact on the election process, County Council Alison Barratt-Green confirmed that no information would be distributed prior to Monday October 6th when early voting begins.
Judge Anderson stated the extra time will allow for the petitioner to respond to the County Council position on the original petition. Council provided a response to the court and petitioner yesterday afternoon. The extra time will also allow the court to review both sides and and election law to make an informed ruling on the merits of the petition.
Stephen Munkelt said today’s decision doesn’t change anything.
Mukelt believes the decision allows both sides more time to prepare on a time sensitive issue.
County Counsel Alison Barrett-Green will comment later today.
The hearing on merits of the petition is set for Friday morning at 10:00 AM.