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City and school district elections to change in Burbank

City and school district elections to change in Burbank
Locals came out to vote at the Youth Center Liberty Hall polling station, in Burbank on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The center was used for multiple precincts. (Raul Roa / Burbank Leader)

Burbank and its school district will have its elections during even-numbered years, according to election results Tuesday night.

With all 48 precincts accounted for, the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office counted 10,061 votes, or about 79.6%, in favor of Measure V, and 10,194 votes, about 81.07% in favor of Measure Y, both of which would realign the elections for the city and Burbank Unified, respectively, to coincide with the state’s general-election dates.

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Alternatively, there were 2,568 votes, roughly 20.3%, against Measure V and 2,380 votes, about 18.9%, against Measure Y.

Both the city and school district are subject to SB 415, a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 1, 2015, aimed at increasing voter turnout throughout the state.

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The legislation requires that cities and governing bodies need to align their election cycles with the state’s schedule if the average voter turnout for those elections in the past four years was below the average turnout for the previous four statewide general elections.

Burbank’s last four city general elections had an average turnout of about 16.9%, while the state’s last four statewide elections averaged about 60.4%.

With Measure V approved by voters, Burbank’s first municipal election would be held during the November 2020 state general election.

In addition to changing the schedule, officials who are currently voted in — all five council members, City Clerk Zizette Mullins and City Treasurer Debbie Kukta — would have their terms extended by one year and eight months to help with the realignment.

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It would also mean that Councilman Tim Murphy, who was appointed by the City Council to finish the late-Councilman Will Rogers’ term, would also have his term extended.

Murphy said during the interview process for the post in May that he is not interested in running for reelection at the end of the term.

Should Measure V had failed, Burbank would have continued to have its elections during odd-numbered years. The city would have had its primary election in February 2019 and a general run-off election the following April, said city spokeswoman Simone McFarland.

She added that, under SB 415, any local voter can sue Burbank to change its election cycle to even-numbered years to coincide with the state elections.

Similar to Measure Y, current school board members would have their terms extended for one year and eight months to help with the transition.

The ballot measure would also remove Burbank Unified’s election procedures from the City Charter to allow the school district to dictate when its elections will be held.

McFarland said the school district has already changed its election practices to meet the requirements established in SB 415, and school officials will hold elections whenever they choose.

The city spokeswoman added that if both ballot measures had fail, the City Council could choose to place both issues on a future ballot.

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