While there are relatively minor issues on the ballot for local elections on Nov. 5, major decisions are looming around the corner for voters in March 2020, according to the Imperial County Elections Department.
For Nov. 5, the Seeley County Water District will have a vote for two board positions and has three candidates running: Bianca M. Vasquez, Esteban Jaramillo and incumbent Keith E. Baird.
The Salton Community Services District will have a vote for two spots with three candidates running: incumbents Mary Fran Aldridge and Dale R. Johnson, and challenger Gracie J. Bennett.
For the Salton District, Measure N would approve a special tax for fire protection and Measure O an annual appropriations limit.
The Bombay Beach Community Services District will vote for two spaces and has three candidates on the ballot: incumbent Ernest R. Hawkins, and challengers Louis Earl Knight and Michael C. Burnell. There are two certified write-in candidates: Gregory S. Matlock and Krystal Worden.
Meadows Union Elementary School District has seven candidates vying for two positions: incumbents Beatriz Barajas Rodriguez and Brenda Villegas, and challengers Sterling E. “Arkie” Mayes, Jr., Sebastian O. Mora, Roberto Garcia, Margo Lamoreaux and John “Jack” Friedley
Polls will open on Nov. 5 at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Tools on the Elections website at https://www.co.imperial.ca.us/regvoters/ allow prospective voters to determine if they are registered and how to register, as well as providing more information about upcoming elections.
The election on March 3 will include the presidential primary, a partisan election which will include all major parties. Then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in 2017 moving the primary up from June, a tactic designed to give the state’s presidential primary more clout in the nomination process.
Locally there are four judicial races on the ballot for March. Sitting judges up for reelection include Marco Nunez, William Derek Quan, William D. Lehman and Eran Bermudez.
District 2 County Supervisor Luis A. Plancarte is up for reelection. He taken out taken out signature papers in lieu of the filing fee along with Ralph Cordova and Claudia Marie Camarena.
Also up for re-election are District 3 county Supervisor Michael Kelley, District 4 Supervisor Ryan Kelley, Imperial Irrigation District Division 2 Director Bruce Kuhn, who so far will be opposed by Dilda McFadden, and IID Division 4 Director Javier Gonzalez, whose competition to date includes former Calexico Mayor Joong Kim.
With election security a concern over fears Russian hackers may repeat their 2016 effort to influence outcomes, County Registrar for Voters Debbie Porter explained the state has made enhancements.
“EI-ISAC stands for elections infrastructure-information sharing and analysis center and is constantly looking for threats,” she said.
Porter spoke about a critical pamphlet the EI-ISAC provides for use by the Election Department and candidates titled, “Recommendations for Minimizing Cyber Risk.” It includes methods to improve security and contact information for security resource centers.
“They (EI-ISAC) help the Registrar’s office go over what other people are doing and ways we can improve security,” Porter added. “They give us updates. All the county’s election centers work with them. We get emails regarding any threats to look for. They also do online training with all employees at every voting office in the Imperial Valley.”
Porter also explained off-year elections, such as those this year, are being phased out.
“We have done away with all off-year elections. There are five districts that have still not done away with off year elections. They will all have switched over by 2020,” she said.