Free and Equal: SB6 Lawsuit to be Discussed at Tuesday Press Conference at California State Capitol


Free and Equal Elections Foundation
Christina Tobin, Founder & President
Phone: 312-320-4101


SB6 Lawsuit to be Discussed at Tuesday Press Conference at California State Capitol.

Richard Winger, elections expert and plaintiff in the lawsuit against Senate Bill 6, and Christina Tobin, CEO and founder of Free and Equal Elections Foundation and creator, will give a press conference on the south steps of the California State Capitol, near the corner of 11th Street and N Street, Tuesday, August 17, 10:30am.

SB 6 set the procedures to be used for implementing Proposition 14, the Top Two election system that passed on June 8. Field v. Bowen, filed July 29, which charges that SB 6 is unconstitutional, is scheduled to be heard in the County of San Francisco’s Superior Court of California, September 14, 2010, 9:30 a.m.

“This is the lawsuit that challenges two aspects of the California top-two system: (1) the ban on counting any write-in votes in November for Congress and partisan state office; (2) the discriminatory policy that lets some, but not all, candidates list their party affiliation on the ballot,” Winger wrote at Ballot Access News.

SB 6 was originally drafted as a bill dealing with hazardous waste. The bill was introduced by then state Sen. Abel Maldonado, amended and passed by the Legislature between 3:40 a.m. and 6:55 a.m., February 19, 2009 without public notice, and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger the next day. Maldonado agreed to give a yes vote on the 2009 budget in exchange for putting Proposition 14 on the ballot and the passage of SB 6.

“Instead of running to the media with ill-informed sound bites, Schwarzenegger and Maldonado need to listen to the participants in this lawsuit and fix the problems they created with their sloppy legislation,” Tobin said. “Maybe Maldonado can find one of his moderate legislator buddies to help us out. If Maldonado can get someone to imitate him by holding this year’s budget hostage in exchange for fixing the obvious problems in SB 6 we can turn that dysfunctional behavior into a positive. That is the wrong way to pass meaningful election reforms, but it seems to be how the legislature works.”

“Schwarzenegger and Maldonado had plenty of time to sit down with the special interests who gave them millions of dollars to promote Proposition 14,” Tobin said. “Now they need to recognize the merits of this lawsuit and sit down with the people who know how to fix the bad legislation they passed with SB 6. They failed to hold hearings or to get public and expert input on SB 6 before it passed, and it is now time for them to make up for that dysfunctional mistake. This wouldn’t have to go through the courts if Schwarzenegger and Maldonado were looking out for the interests of the voters instead of their big money donors.”

“Free and Equal Elections Foundation will continue to work with the public, political parties, candidates, the media and organizations to defeat the spread of Top Two election systems nationwide,” Tobin said. “I will explain the direction of this important work in detail at the press conference.”


Free & Equal is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public-policy advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the rights of the politically marginalized and disenfranchised, particularly those of third party and Independent candidates.