Information provided by San Benito County Elections Department
The SBC Elections Department said that on Dec. 16, 2021, California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued an opinion interpreting statutes governing elections following the appointment of supervisors to fill vacancies on the board of supervisors and recently adopted supervisorial district maps following the 2020 census. The opinion holds that the election to fill the remainder of the term should be conducted as a special election using the old district boundaries in place when the vacancy occurred.
District 1 Supervisor Mark Medina, who was re-elected to a four-year term in 2020, resigned in June 2021 to move out of state. Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Supervisor Betsy Dirks to fill the vacancy in November.
The elections department said when a vacancy occurs during the first two years of the term, the Governor’s appointee serves only until the voters elect a supervisor for the remainder of the term at the next general election. It additionally states the Attorney General opinion clarifies that the San Benito County election for District 1 should be conducted as a special election using the boundaries in effect when Medina was elected in 2020, not the supervisorial district map adopted by the Board of Supervisors on December 14, 2021.
The successful candidate in the election will serve the remainder of Medina’s term until the next general election for District #1 in the 2024 election cycle.
Prospective candidates for the District 1 special election must reside within the boundaries of District 1 as it existed prior to Dec. 14, 2021. Only voters residing within former District 1 boundaries will be eligible to vote in the special election. Voters participating in the District 1 special election will not be issued ballots for the regular election for District 3 or 4 supervisors being conducted in 2022, even if the area of their residence has been re-assigned to either of those districts with the new district map.
Any questions should be directed to San Benito County Elections Department at 831-636-4016 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org