Below is testimony urging the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to vote to hold a special election for the District 4 seat. The resolution passed unanimously. We will continue our efforts to ensure that the election on Aug. 15, 2023, is inclusive and equitable because... Democracy is priceless!

Good morning/afternoon Chair Vargas and Supervisors, 

My name is David Trujillo. My pronouns are he/him and I am the chief programs & strategy officer for the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. We are here to urge you to vote “aye” on the agenda item before you to ensure a fair and equitable election process to fill the District 4 vacancy. 

Like you, we are committed to upholding our democratic principles and we understand that democracy only works when the voice of the people is heard. 

•    I would like to thank you for choosing to hold a special election to fill this seat. By doing so, you are allowing District 4 voters to exercise their democratic right to choose their representative to this board.  

Based on state and county data for similar elections, turnout for this election will likely be low, especially among historically disenfranchised communities.  

•    For example, Los Angeles held a special election to fill a city council vacancy earlier this year. Turnout for this election was under 10 percent.  

Here in San Diego County, we must do better. We must uphold the democratic process and ensure District 4 voters’ voices are heard. As such, strategic outreach to inform and educate voters about the special election must take place. 

•    This outreach must include information on when, where and how to vote; and

•    Marketing and promotional materials must be made available in multiple languages and shared with all District 4 communities to ensure this information reaches every voter in the district. 

We urge the Board of Supervisors to invest in a robust, nonpartisan voter education program to increase voter turnout for the August Special Election and, if necessary, a November run-off, by:

•    Sending mailers to all voters in District 4 that adhere to their language preferences;
•    Diversifying advertising to include;
o    Multi-language print, broadcast, digital, streaming and social media platforms; and
•    Placing vote centers and ballot drop-off boxes at strategic locations convenient to all District 4 voters. 

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has an obligation to uphold our democratic values by voting “aye” on the item before you because…Democracy is Priceless.  

Thank you for your time and consideration.