On Tuesday, March 29, there was an article in the Almanac Online newspaper regarding the Town's upcoming election on June 6, 2017. The article referenced the required City Attorney Impartial Analysis for the upcoming ballot measure. Below I hope to clarify what happened in that process and apologize for the confusion it may have caused.
The City Council adopted a Resolution that provided, among other things, that the Impartial Analysis be submitted and be submitted during the same time frame as the primary arguments, as determined by the Town's Elections Official. Setting of a deadline for the submittal of an Impartial Analysis is at the option of the Town's Elections Official; but submittal of the Impartial Analysis itself, if echoed by the City Council, is required by the State Elections Code. The State Election's Code does not require a deadline; but it does require
that an Impartial Analysis be included with the measure when it goes before the voters if it is required by the City Council (State Elections Code 9280
). Due to unforeseen circumstances, the City Attorney failed to submit the impartial analysis by the prescribed deadline set by the Elections Official. For that and the associated confusion, we apologize.
The purpose of the Impartial Analysis is to provide voters an impartial review of the proposed ballot measure that does not rely on primary arguments or rebuttals. Many communities set a submittal deadline consistent with the last submitted public materials (rebuttals). The Town will do that as well in future elections. The primary and rebuttal arguments rely on the ballot measure and the primary arguments themselves, not the impartial analysis for their completeness. If primary and rebuttal arguments are submitted and complete, the State Elections Code requires their inclusion with the ballot measure. If they are not submitted or are not submitted by the stated deadline, they are not included. However, for the Impartial Analysis, since it is required regardless, the State Elections Code does not provide a deadline nor does it prohibit its inclusion if it misses a locally set deadline for submittal.
Upon submittal, arguments, rebuttals and the impartial analysis are available for review upon request from the City Clerk's Office. It was not until after the primary and all rebuttal arguments were submitted that the Town received its singular request for a copy of the Impartial Analysis. At that time, the Elections Official realized that the City Attorney had failed to submit the required analysis. Because the Impartial Analysis was required by the City Council and therefore under the State Elections Code, the Elections Official deemed it appropriate to extend the submittal deadline to March 27 in line with the same deadline for rebuttal arguments. A copy of the Impartial Analysis was provided to the requester within three hours of the request.
All arguments, rebuttals and the impartial analysis maintain the required 10 day review period.