Voter FAQ
Candidate FAQ

election-icon Voter FAQ

HOW DO I BECOME A REGISTERED VOTER IN SANTA CLARITA?

Register to Vote

Any person, who is at least 18 years of age on the City’s November Election Day, is a citizen of the United States or a naturalized citizen, and a resident of the City of Santa Clarita, can register to vote with the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters by filling out a Voter Registration Form. Registration Forms are available at City Hall, United States Post Offices, or online at www.lavote.net. If you move, change your name or wish to change your political party affiliation you must re-register to vote. You must be registered to vote at least 15 days before an election to be eligible to vote in that election.


WHEN ARE ELECTIONS HELD IN THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA?

Elections for City Council members are held the second Tuesday in November of even-numbered years and are consolidated with the County of Los Angeles General Elections. The next City election is scheduled for November 8, 2016; at this time, voters will elect two City Council members.


HOW AND WHERE DO I VOTE?

Find Polling Place

Before each election, every registered voter is sent a Voter Information Pamphlet, also known as a “Sample Ballot,” that lists the candidates and tells the voter where to find his/her polling place. In addition to the Pamphlet, you may visit www.lavote.net to determine your polling location for this election cycle. On the back of the information Pamphlet is an application that voters may submit to request a “vote-by-mail” ballot (also known as an absentee ballot) if they are not already registered as a permanent vote-by-mail voter. Registered permanent vote-by-mail voters will automatically be sent a ballot and need not apply each election cycle. All ballots must be returned to the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk’s Office prior to Election Day or to any polling place on Election Day by 8:00 p.m.


WHERE DO I GET ELECTION RESULTS?

The polls close at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. All the ballots from the polling places are taken to a designated area and transported to the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk’s Office (called the Central Counting Place), where they are counted by ballot counting machines. Ballot counting continues until all ballots received by mail and from the polling places are tallied.

The (unofficial) results are available on the www.lavote.net website. In addition, the results, along with provisional ballots, constitute the “official” canvass and are presented to the City Council for approval at a subsequent Council meeting where the newly-elected City Councilmembers are sworn in.


WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONDUCTING THE CITY ELECTION?

The City Clerk provides the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office and the Board of Supervisors with copies of the City Council Resolution Calling for an Election and a City Council Resolution Requesting Consolidation Services for the City of Santa Clarita.

The City Clerk assists candidates in meeting their legal responsibilities before, during and after an election. From election pre-planning to the certification of official election results and filing of final campaign disclosure documents, the City Clerk manages the process which forms the foundation of our democratic system of government.


WHERE CAN I OBTAIN INFORMATION ON OTHER ELECTIONS?

The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters handles all other elections.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY CLERK’S OFFICE AT 661-255-4391.


 

election-icon Candidate FAQ

HOW MANY COUNCIL SEATS WILL BE OPEN FOR ELECTION?

Two open Council seats will be voted for in the 2016 election.


WHEN ARE ELECTIONS HELD IN THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA?

Elections for City Councilmembers are held the second Tuesday in November of even-numbered years and are consolidated with the County of Los Angeles General Elections.  Please visit the LA Vote – Upcoming Elections Website for additional information.


WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR RUNNING FOR A CITY COUNCIL SEAT?

To hold any elective office within the City of Santa Clarita, a person must be a United States citizen, 18 years or older, and be a registered voter of the City at the time the nomination paper is issued.  The City Clerk will not issue a nomination paper if the candidate is not a registered voter. (California Elections Code [“E.C.”] §201.)

If an elected official moves his or her place of residence outside of the City limits or ceases to be an elector of the City during his or her term of office, the office of that elected official shall immediately become vacant.  (California Government Code [“G.C.”] §36502.)


HOW OFTEN DOES THE CITY COUNCIL MEET?

The City Council holds its regular meeting on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.  A study session may be held on the first Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m., which is an informal meeting of the City Council.  Other adjourned or special meetings are scheduled as City business necessitates.  These meetings are open to the public.


DO CITY COUNCILMEMBERS RECEIVE COMPENSATION?

Yes.  Councilmember salary is established by Government Code 36516, and the current monthly amount is $1,832.57.  In addition, Councilmembers are eligible to receive the following benefits:

Health Benefits

  • City Councilmembers are eligible to enroll in the City’s health, dental, and vision insurance.
  • Councilmembers elected or re-elected to non-consecutive terms after January 1, 2011 are eligible to receive up to $246.12 per month if they choose not to enroll in a city-provided health plan. This entire “cash in lieu” benefit must be used toward other cafeteria plan options such as life insurance; AFLAC short-term disability, accident, or cancer insurance; flexible spending accounts; or deferred compensation.
  • Additional benefits offered include City-paid life, accidental death & dismemberment, and long-term disability insurance.

Retirement Benefits

As a replacement for Social Security, Councilmembers are required to be enrolled in one of the following retirement plans:

Option 1 – CalPERS Retirement in either the 2.0% at 60 plan or 2.0% at 62 plan depending on whether the Councilmember was a member of PERS as of January 1, 2013, in compliance with the provisions of the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA).  For both plans, the Councilmember is responsible for paying the full member pension contribution.

Option 2 – 457 Deferred Compensation Retirement Plan with a City contribution of 7.5% of base salary.


WHEN IS THE NOMINATION FILING PERIOD?

Beginning July 1, 2016, potential candidates may make an appointment with the Santa Clarita City Clerk’s Office at (661) 255-4391 to obtain nomination papers during the nomination filing period. The nomination filing period is July 18, 2016 through August 12, 2016. If an incumbent whose term expires in 2016 does not file in this period, the filing period is extended to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, for all potential candidates other than the incumbent(s) who declined to file nomination paperwork by the August 12, 2016 deadline.


WHO CAN SIGN MY NOMINATION PAPER?

Any registered voter in the jurisdiction of the City of Santa Clarita may sign a nomination paper.  This includes the candidate and/or the circulator.  Each seat on the City Council is a separate office.  Therefore, a citizen may sign a nomination paper for two different candidates for this election.  Your nomination paper must contain at least 20 and not more than 30 signatures; a minimum of 20 must be verified for your nomination to be valid.


WHAT HAPPENS IF SOME OF THE SIGNATURES I OBTAIN ON MY NOMINATION PAPER ARE NOT REGISTERED VOTERS OR DO NOT LIVE WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS?

These signatures will not be counted toward the 20 signatures required for you to run for office.  The City Clerk’s Office recommends candidates consider filing their nomination paperwork in advance of the August 12, 2016 deadline to avoid potential signature issues.

It is the Santa Clarita City Clerk’s responsibility to verify the signatures on all nomination papers.  If you file early, there will be time to check the signatures and notify you of any discrepancies.  Filing early will provide you with an opportunity to circulate and submit supplemental nomination paperwork prior to the August 12, 2016 deadline.


WHEN DOES A CANDIDATE’S NOMINATION BECOME PUBLIC?

A potential candidate’s name becomes public information from the time a candidate submits his or her nomination papers or files a Candidate Intention Statement (Form 501).  Nomination papers, however, are not immediately available for public review.

A complete list of candidates will be available in the City Clerk’s Office at noon on the business day following the close of the nomination period: Monday, August 15, 2016 or, if the filing period is extended, by noon on Thursday, August 18, 2016.


WHAT HAPPENS IF I CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT RUNNING FOR OFFICE AFTER FILING THE NOMINATION PAPER?

You may withdraw as a candidate at any time prior to the close of the nomination period.  After that date, you may not withdraw, and your name will appear on the ballot.


WHAT ARE THE ELECTION OFFICE HOURS?  WHAT ARE THE HOLIDAY ELECTION OFFICE HOURS?

Election office hours in the City Clerk’s Office are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.   The City Clerk’s Office is staffed during the lunch hour.

In an effort to ensure that all candidates obtain and submit required documentation, it is highly encouraged for candidates to make an appointment with the City Clerk’s Office.


CAN SOMEONE DELIVER MY NOMINATION PAPER TO THE CITY CLERK FOR ME?

Yes.  Please be sure that all forms are properly completed.  If there are any questions on any form or they are not completed properly, your paper may not be accepted.


IS THERE A FILING FEE INVOLVED FOR MY CANDIDACY?

No, Santa Clarita does not impose a filing fee. The City provides equal opportunity for all candidates to fully participate by not charging a filing fee.


IS THERE A FEE FOR MY CANDIDATE STATEMENT?

Yes.  The fee covers the cost of printing your statement in the Sample Ballot.  The initial deposit required for your statement is $1,700 for English only and $3,400 for English and Spanish.  Should the actual cost be less than the deposit, the difference will be refunded on or before December 7, 2016.  Should the actual cost be more than the deposit, a bill for the difference will be mailed to you.


MAY I CHANGE OR CORRECT THE WORDING OR SPELLING ON MY CANDIDATE STATEMENT AFTER SUBMISSION?

No, you may not.  Please check your candidate statement carefully before submitting it.  It will be printed exactly as submitted.


IF I SUBMIT A CANDIDATE’S STATEMENT AND I CHANGE MY MIND, MAY I WITHDRAW THE STATEMENT?

Yes, the candidate’s statement may be withdrawn but not changed until 5:00 p.m. the business day following the close of the nomination period.


WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY FOR CAMPAIGN SIGNAGE?

Section 13.24.010 of the City of Santa Clarita Municipal Code defines public right-of-way as “any place of any nature which is dedicated to use by the public for pedestrian and vehicular travel, and includes, but is not limited to, a street, sidewalk, curb, gutter, crossing, intersection, parkway, highway, alley, lane, mall, court, way, avenue, boulevard, road, roadway, viaduct, subway, tunnel, bridge, thoroughfare, park square, and other similar public way which is owned or held (whether in fee, easement, leasehold or other interest) by the City of Santa Clarita.”  Furthermore, Section 17.51.080.E.1.a states that “except as specifically provided in this section, no sign shall be located upon or project over a public right-of-way.”

In an effort to identify where the public right-of-way transitions to private property for the placement of campaign signage, it can be helpful to use the location of the adjacent curb as a guide.  Most properties throughout the City of Santa Clarita have a curb along the frontage of the property.  Although the distance from the curb to the end of the public right-of-way will vary throughout the City of Santa Clarita, in a typical residential area signs placed a minimum of 14 feet from the curb will not be within the public right-of-way.  This guide does not necessarily apply to property in commercial areas as the distance from the curb to the public right-of-way can vary from 3’ to 33’, depending on various factors.  It should also be noted that there are many areas within the City that have been developed without the typical curb/gutter/parkway/sidewalk standard.

If you are uncertain about a particular sign placement and wish to ensure it is not within the public right-of-way, please contact Daniel Rivas at (661) 286-4195 or email him at drivas@santa-clarita.com to discuss the exact location where you would like to place campaign signage.


WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS REGARDING TEMPORARY SIGNAGE?

Regulations regarding Temporary Signage can be found on the City’s website at Vote Santa Clarita – Sign Regulations and are included in the Candidate Handbook.


WHEN CAN CANDIDATES START POSTING CAMPAIGN SIGNAGE?

The City does not have any restrictions on when campaign signage may be posted, as long as the Sign Ordinance is being followed.


WHAT DOES CHAPTER 7.02 INDICATE IN REGARD TO FONT SIZE?

The language provides for a proportionate increase in font size as materials get larger, but there is no language that expressly allows for a proportionate reduction in font size.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY CLERK’S OFFICE AT 661-255-4391.