The current City Council majority is proposing changes to the City Charter that deny your rights as a citizen of Huntington Beach. These changes would compromise residents’ voting rights, make our elections less secure, and would significantly alter the balance of power in our city government. The City Council majority has done this in direct contradiction to the process set forth in the charter itself. Instead of a citizen commission, the new City Council majority appointed a three-member ad hoc committee that drafted these changes in confidential meetings without public transparency or participation. “Protect Huntington Beach” is a group of concerned residents of HB who want to increase residents’ awareness of these proposed Charter changes and the effect they will have.
Council Majority members on the ad hoc Charter Amendment Committee held NO PUBLIC HEARINGS.
These changes are 100% political, not functional -- But it will cost $369,928 - $459,628 just to put them on the Primary Ballot!
It would cost much, much less to put this on the November ballot, but the Council has rejected this option even though the changes wouldn't take effect until 2026!
OC Registrar will no doubt refuse HB’s requests to require Voter ID and dropbox surveillance because it's against California law. And California’s Arrorney General and Secretary of State have stated that they will vigorously oppose the city’s plan, resulting in substantial legal costs and risk of damages.
AS A RESULT THESE CITY-RUN ELECTIONS WILL COST THE CITY $3 - $5 MILLION EVERY TIME THE CITY HOLDS A FUTURE ELECTION!
Worst of all, the new local elections will NOT be nearly as secure as those conducted by the OC Registrar.
Voter turnout at local Municipal elections is usually VERY LOW, averaging 15-27% vs. over 65% using the OC Registrar.
WHY? Local elections usually provide less opportunity to vote.
Working people who travel, or have conflicts with family obligations, shift workers, and people who have a long commute, are often left out as a result. Many are confused.
WE CANNOT APPROVE THESE LOCAL ELECTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS!
There have been three regular meetings, plus four special meetings, at which various Charter amendments have been proposed. Of the several hundred of letters received by the City from residents, over 95% have been in vigorous opposition to these changes.
In fact, the new council members themselves ran on a campaign platform of "NO CHANGES TO THE CITY CHARTER!"
But here we are, making needless changes to the City Charter while the city faces $24 million deficits over the 4 years. We are already cutting vital city services to balance the current budget.
This is definitely not what the new City Council members promised when they ran for office.