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Citizen-led effort for proposed sale tax increase fails to get enough signatures for Nov. ballot

Effort was to support funding for SANDAG Regional Transportation Plan
Posted at 6:16 AM, Jun 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-11 09:21:08-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A proposed tax increase for supporting SANDAG's massive $163 billion Regional Transportation Plan is hitting a roadblock.

The effort to get it on the November ballot failed to get enough signatures.

"The purpose of this ballot initiative was to increase the sales tax rate throughout the entire San Diego County in order for SANDAG to have enough funding for its Regional Transportation Plan,” Mayor Richard Bailey, city of Coronado and member of the SANDAG Board, said.

Bailey viewed the initiative failing as a positive development for commuters in San Diego County.

The citizen-led coalition spearheading the proposed ballot initiative is Let's Go San Diego.

As ABC 10News reported, the Regional Transportation Plan calls for light and high-speed rail lines, mobility hubs, free public transportation and more.

Let’s Go San Diego shared with us the receipt of the more than 164,000 signatures it says it was submitted in May to the Registrar of Voters office for the initiative.

A letter dated June 8, from the Registrar of Voters to the proponents of the ballot initiative states there were more than 141,000 signatures submitted and that the number of projected valid signatures is below the threshold to get it on the November ballot.

In a statement, Let's Go San Diego says that counts off.

"We were shocked to learn that over 23,000 voter signatures are apparently missing from the total of nearly 165,000 collected to qualify this initiative for the ballot,” Dan Rottenstreich, Let’s Go campaign spokesperson, said in a statement.

"We are investigating this deeply troubling discrepancy so that every voter’s voice is counted and accounted for. We are grateful to the nearly 165,000 San Diegans who spoke out for urgent transportation upgrades—and are as committed as ever to ensuring their voices are heard and our region’s transportation system gets the urgent upgrades it needs now."

ABC 10News reached out to the Registrar of Voters office regarding the claims made by the Let’s Go San Diego campaign.

The Registrar of Voters said in a statement, “The Registrar of Voters is committed to fair and secure election processes and carefully conducted the count according to appropriate procedures. As part of the process, the law affords the proponents the right to review the petition once it has failed, as well as to discuss the disposition of the entirety of the petitions as they were submitted to the Registrar of Voters office by the proponent's representative. Our office remains open and available to meet with the proponents.”

A spokesperson for SANDAG told ABC 10News the organization can't comment on the citizen-led initiative failing at this time.