California progressive lawmakers are pushing a bill which would give county sheriffs and district attorneys elected in 2022 an extended six-year term. However, the election bill, AB-759 is actually designed to increase voter turnout.
The bill would move voting for county sheriffs and prosecutors to the same cycle as presidents. It would begin in 2028. However, most sheriffs and district attorneys elected in 2022 would then serve six-year terms, rather than the standard four-year term.
Despite the possibility of extending his time in office, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes has emphatically spoken out against the bill, calling on lawmakers to not alter the election process.
“Tinkering with established election schedules under a flawed premise is not likely to result in any greater legitimate or informed voter participation,” Barnes told the Los Angeles Daily News. “Any attempt to manipulate future elections is unethical…I believe the electoral process has served well and should remain unhindered and not tampered with.”
Barnes’ first term is concluding in 2022. But Barnes is not the only public official who is pushing back against the new legislation.
“This is a perfect example of how off-the-rails our legislature is running,” Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said. “Of all the serious and immediate problems in California, this is something they feel is important?”
Bianco continued ripping the lawmakers in charge of pushing the bill, questioning their true intentions.
“Their goal is that this will result in the removal of sheriffs and D.A.s who they believe pose a threat to their agenda while at the same time inserting political pawns into a constitutionally protected office” Bianco said.
Kevin McCarty, the Democratic Assemblyman who co-authored the legislation, vows the bill is “not an attempt to attack the system,” and that the bill will “ensure that the greatest number of voters” for elected positions. Even with strong positioning from Democrats, leaders like Barnes remain critical of the bill.
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