Democrats sue to block special election date
May 8, 2010
Angry Democrats have gone to federal court in an attempt to block the upcoming special state Senate race between Republican Sam Blakeslee and Democrat John Laird. [San Francisco Chronicle]
A lawsuit filed Thursday in San Jose on behalf of three voters claims the scheduled June 22 balloting violates the federal Voting Rights Act because any change in election procedures in Monterey County requires U.S. Justice Department approval.
Gov, Schwarzenegger set the date for the election to fill the Senate seat of Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria), who was recently confirmed as California’s new lieutenant governor.
Observers expected the Senate race to be on the November ballot. Democrats are upset because special elections held at other times of the year tend to favor Republicans.
Monterey County needs federal approval to alter election schedules because the county has a history of suppressing minority voting.
Schwarzenegger ordered the first round of voting for June 22, with the top candidates meeting in an August 17 runoff if no one wins a majority.