Governor candidate John Cox sues every county clerk over failed proposition


John Cox, the Republican candidate for governor in last year’s election, has sued every county clerk in California alleging his “Neighborhood Legislature” initiative was improperly kept off the ballot.

Kern County Auditor-Controller/County Clerk Mary Bedard will officially receive Cox’s suit at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Democrat Gavin Newsom handily defeated Cox in statewide voting in the Nov. 6, 2018 election, but Cox just as easily beat Newsom in Kern County 119,870 to 83,507.

Even before Cox was a candidate for California’s highest office, he was criticizing state government as dysfunctional and controlled by big-money special interests.

His solution was to create hundreds of micro governments, each with about 5,000 constituents. This would enable just about anyone to compete for elective office. Each neighborhood government would be part of a larger council that would send a representative to Sacramento, where the state Legislature would be about the same size it is now, except filled with people elected at the grassroots level.

That was the premise behind the “Neighborhood Legislature” proposition Cox wanted to put on the 2018 ballot.

In his suit, Cox claims he submitted more than 800,000 signatures to the Secretary of State hundreds of thousands more than required to get the proposition on the ballot.

But, he says in the suit, county clerks in all of California’s 58 counties disqualified so many signatures that the proposition did not get on the ballot.

Cox says those disqualifications were wrong.

In a five-page section of the suit, he lists 35 reasons he believes signatures were improperly disqualified

He says old people’s petition signatures were disqualified because they didn’t match decades-old voter registration signatures. He says many women were disqualified because their names had changed since they registered to vote.

He said petition-signers with the same names were confused with each other, so their signatures didn’t match. Some people moved, he says, and voter records were not updated. Some signers were disqualified because they transposed numbers in their ZIP Code, he says.

The suit, filed in Sacramento, asks the measure be placed on the 2020 ballot.

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