As the June 5, 2018 election season heats up, candidates, ballot measure committees, and consultants should keep in mind that the law allows campaigns to challenge false, misleading, or improper information which will appear in the voter information pamphlet and/or on the ballot. These include candidate ballot designations, candidate statements, ballot questions, and arguments for or against ballot measures. For the most part, filing a lawsuit is the exclusive means for compelling changes to these materials.
Candidates for Superior Court Judge should pay particular attention to their designations, as well as those of their opponents, as there are restrictive new rules that apply to attorneys who are seeking judicial office.
These pre-election legal challenges must be brought during very strict time periods:
* For challenges to candidate ballot designations and candidate statements, the lawsuit filing period is generally March 9 to 19.
* For challenges to arguments for or against ballot measures, the period is generally March 16 to 26.
* For challenges to ballot measure rebuttal arguments, the period is generally March 26 to April 5.
These dates are subject to some exceptions (for example, different deadlines apply in San Francisco), and additional dates and deadlines may apply, so please contact us as soon as possible if you are considering challenging an opponent’s ballot materials.
In addition, you might consider having us review your ballot designations, candidate statements, or ballot arguments before submitting them to the elections official to make them as “bulletproof” as possible with regard to a potential legal challenge.
If you are interested in knowing more about pre-election litigation, please feel free to contact Jim, Brad, Matthew, Nick or Sam.
THIS ALERT IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.