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Local News
City selects election date transition plan

City selects election date transition plan

In November, voters will decide whether to move city elections from March and May to August and November. If the referendum passes, the change will be implemented starting with the 2020 election cycle.

On Monday, the City Commission selected a procedure for potentially transitioning to a new election date. The city is holding a November referendum on moving election dates after the Decide the Date group gathered more than 4,700 signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.

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by Jun 19, 2018 No Comments
Local News
Decide The Date Could Extend Commission Terms

Decide The Date Could Extend Commission Terms

If Sarasota voters approve a shift in the election schedule within the city, sitting commissioners will have 18 months added onto their terms. Leaders on Monday night, whether they favored a switch to November elections or not, voted 3-2 that the best way forward meant adding more than a year to their own terms. “If approved by voters, you should just get on with it,” says City Attorney Robert Fournier. “This would eliminate any spring elections after the change was approved.”

A switch away from elections in spring of odd-numbered years to contests in fall of even-numbered years has long proved contentious in Sarasota, and city commissioners on multiple occasions in recent years declined the chance to put the measure up for vote. But this year, the Decide the Date political committee successfully gathered petitions from 4,732 city voters, 27 percent more than required to put a charter amendment on the ballot for vote. Commissioners have now scheduled a referendum to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

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by Jun 19, 2018 No Comments
Local News
City to consider referendum language

City to consider referendum language

The city is obligated to place a referendum on the November ballot about moving the city’s election dates, but first, it must make a series of decisions related to the potential change.

The referendum will ask voters whether the city should move its elections from March and May of odd-numbered years to August and November of even-numbered years. The Decide the Date campaign gathered more than 4,700 signatures to send the proposal to voters.

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by Jun 14, 2018 No Comments
Local News
On June 18, City Commission scheduled to get first look at draft ordinance for November referendum on changing dates of city elections

On June 18, City Commission scheduled to get first look at draft ordinance for November referendum on changing dates of city elections

On June 18, the Sarasota City Commission is scheduled to review the draft of an ordinance that will set in motion a Nov. 6 referendum on whether citizens wish to change the dates of the city elections.

On a June 4 motion by Commissioner Willie Shaw, seconded by Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie, the board accepted the report of representatives of the organization Decide the Date Sarasota, which conducted a petition drive to get the proposed measure on the General Election ballot this year.

Commissioner Hagen Brody offered plaudits to the Decide the Date leaders, saying they “really are doing something good for our community.”

He added that he hopes the initiative will lead to greater voter participation.

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by Jun 8, 2018 No Comments
Local News
Changing Sarasota election dates could extend commission terms

Changing Sarasota election dates could extend commission terms

SARASOTA — Shifting Sarasota’s spring City Commission elections to the fall could temporarily extend commissioners’ terms by more than a year.

The City Commission will have several options to phase in new election dates that could temporarily extend commission terms by 18 months should voters in November choose to change the dates of city elections from March and May of odd years to August and November of even years to coincide with with federal, state, county and district elections. Decide the Date, a local campaign that launched a petition last year advocating for the change, collected 4,732 signatures — 996 more than the required 3,736 signatures — needed to put the issue before voters on Nov. 6. The referendum will ask voters whether they support moving city elections.

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by Jun 6, 2018 No Comments
Local News
City Commission to discuss successful petition drive calling for referendum on changing city election cycle

City Commission to discuss successful petition drive calling for referendum on changing city election cycle

On the evening of June 4, the Sarasota city commissioners are scheduled to make their formal decision about letting citizens decide when future city elections will be conducted.

On May 18, Decide the Date Sarasota — which describes itself as “a grassroots, bipartisan petition campaign” — announced that “it had succeeded in collecting the required number of petitions to ask city voters, on a November referendum ballot, whether they desire to change the date of City Commission elections to coincide with federal, state, county, and district elections.”

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by Jun 1, 2018 No Comments
Local News
Studying the Promise of Higher Turnout

Studying the Promise of Higher Turnout

Since a Sarasota campaign gathered enough signatures to put the “Decide The Date” referendum on the November ballot, city voters soon will make a critical decision that could alter the dynamic of local elections. Frankly, it’s about time this contentious issue appeared as a referendum so the two sides can settle a long-time debate. We can expect each camp to offer emotional appeals about voter suppression and making it more expensive to run. But the core principle at stake boils down to one data point: Turnout.

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by May 30, 2018 No Comments
Opinion
Editorial: Let Sarasota voters decide on elections

Editorial: Let Sarasota voters decide on elections

The Sarasota City Commission now has 4,732 reasons to enable voters to decide whether to change their voting schedule.

Decide the Date Sarasota, a campaign that has support from the political left and right, gathered that many certified petitions — 996 more than required — calling for a referendum on the city’s stand-alone elections.

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by May 23, 2018 No Comments
Local News
Referendum on city election date makes ballot

Referendum on city election date makes ballot

Backed by the support of more than 4,700 residents, a referendum on moving city elections is set to appear on the ballot in November.

The Decide the Date campaign announced today it has collected enough signatures for the referendum to move ahead. Decide the Date, which launched in December, formed in an effort to move municipal elections from March and May of odd-numbered years to August and November of even-numbered years.

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by May 18, 2018 No Comments