Monday, December 01, 2008

Yes for equal protection

Today, Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund (TRANSDEF) sued the Secretary of State trying to get an automatic 10% manual recount of the Measure B votes. The hearing has been moved from Santa Clara County to San Francisco.

A few weeks before the November election, the Secretary of State adopted new emergency regulations that mandate a 10% manual recount on tight races with a margin less than half a percent. However, the Secretary of State worded the regulations this way: “For ballot measure contests, including recall contests, the margin of victory is the difference between the percentages of votes for and against the ballot measure.”

Because school bonds require 55% and most other taxes require 2/3 to pass, the wording was probably an honest mistake on the part of the Secretary of State. However, a lawsuit is necessary in order to get a recount because the county's Registrar of Voters refused to do so based on its strict interpretation of the regulations.

Those who voted no on B deserve equal protection from the law like those who voted for other ballot measures and candidates. It is clear that Measure B was only passed by an extremely small margin. There's no legal or moral gounds to deny an automatic recount in this race but not other tight races. Remember, that's how Bush got into office when the Supreme Court ordered a stop to the recount in Florida 8 years ago.

Also, if Measure B were defeated by the same margin, the yes campaign would certainly take actions to get a recount.

TRANSDEF has a history of protecting transit riders when politicians and big money lobbyists abandoned them. In 2003, it issued legal comments in support of using Measure A funds to save bus service. It also fought against many highway expansions in the Bay Area that only encourage more auto dependency.


Jeremy said...

I think accountablevta and Margaret Okuzumi of bay rail alliance should split the 400k for a full measure B recount. They can mortgage their houses or take out loans. They live in Palo Alto so they can get that type of financing. But they don't need to worry, they get their money back if the result is overturned on the recount. And since there is no way 2/3 of us scc residents voted to tax ourselves for something that would benefit the entire region and not just the peninsula, there's no way this thing legitimately passed!

accountablevta said...

Why should ordinary citizens have to pay when others in similar positions have the right to get an automatic recount? You still can't justify to protect some groups but not others.

You are just simply biased because a recount could threaten the so called "victory" that you got. That tax won't be enough anyway. Bush didn't want a recount in 2000 for the same reason.

Apparently for you the truth means nothing. You don't care about VTA's finances. In your view, it is OK for some to lose their mobility so that others can enjoy more expensive trains.

It won't be too long until VTA starts proposing service cuts and fare increases. Are you going to be there at public meetings to defend VTA and its tactics to deceive voters?

Jeremy said...

I have no problem with recounts, and in this case it would have made sense. The lawsuit that was filed will probably cause the secretary of state to change the voting guidelines. What I have a problem with is delay tactics through litigation, which is very common in California. It is no coincidence that this lawsuit was filed on Friday, to be heard on Monday, one day before election results were to be certified. They waited as long as they could, but got one upped by the secretary of state. Lawsuits such as this and others that challenge environmental impact reports eventually get resolved, but delay projects due to injunctions and increased costs.

As for my satirical comments I posted that because although measure B passed by just 707 votes, that's 707 votes over 2/3. I find it funny how your posts emphasize how close the election was when it was actually 2:1 in favor of measure B.

accountablevta said...

This is not really a delay tactics. In any case, it wouldn't take months of years to resolve.

The law is the law. 2/3 is the requirement, which was approved by voters too. LA and the North Bay made it no problem with even a higher tax rate.

Anonymous said...

And the supermajority of citizens who voted yes on this measure deserve to have their voice heard.

You lost, get over it. The more you make this out to be the end of the world, the less credible you sound.

accountablevta said...

What is the fair and reasonable case against a recount?