In just 11 short months, San Diego Democrats have muscled through a series of laws that could translate their voter registration advantage throughout the county into real political power.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed two laws this week boosting liberals in areas of local government where fundamentals had previously given conservatives a natural edge.
Last November, city voters approved two laws backed by progressive groups that did the same.
Together, the changes chip away at structural factors that afforded Republicans a slight advantage at the voting booth, and gave them greater sway over regional spending than would be expected by the raw voter breakdown in the county.
Brown signed a bill Thursday by two San Diego Democrats, Assemblyman Todd Gloria and Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, that could eventually lead to all countywide races being decided in November general elections, not during June primaries. Presently, a primary candidate who wins over 50 percent of the vote wins outright.
That bill doesn’t automatically change anything on its own. But it opens the door for elections to be changed in either of two ways, both of which require a county-wide vote. First, the county supervisors could propose the changes themselves and then ask voters to approve them. But the current all-Republican board has no appetite for that — it officially opposed the legislation. The second way is by citizens’ initiative.