Rose Fellow Doug Johnson on Ballot Designation Challenges

On March 23rd, the San Bernardino Sun published an article titled “Ramos funds legal action against opponent Derry, seeking removal of term ‘businessman’.” The article centers on the request of a supporter of Board of Supervisors candidate James Ramos’ for a judge to order Ramos’ opponent, incumbent Niel Derry, to remove the word businessman from Derry’s ballot statement.

The grounds on which they seek the court order is that Derry’s only profession is county supervisor, so the term “businessman” is inappropriate. Ramos’ fiscal support of the legal action of supporter Patricia Amicone, however, is a point of contention for Derry.

Weighing in on the issue of challenging opponent’s ballot designations, Rose Institute Fellow Doug Johnson noted that the aforementioned tactics are common in a well-financed political campaign. He is quoted as stating, “You’re looking for every advantage, and challenges over ballot designations are a very common thing.” Johnson notes that, generally, many voters are greatly influenced by the ballot designations given their political apathy. “It can mean hundreds or even thousands of votes if you have an appealing ballot designation, so all candidates try to get the best possible designation. When campaigning, it is very common for the candidate to challenge an opponent’s ballot designation,” Johnson added.

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