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March 5 Primary Election Sets Stage for Local Political Shifts and National Previews

-Editorial

The March 5 Primary Election is underway, bringing pivotal races that will mold the local political scene. This election is vital in determining candidates for key positions, such as the State Assembly, Imperial County Superior Court, Imperial County Supervisor, and the Imperial Irrigation District.

This election will not only set the stage for the November election but it will dramatically change the dynamics of local politics for years to come. 

Imperial County Register of Voters Linsey Dale has been working since 5:30 am to ensure that everything is in place for the election. As the head of the county’s election office, Dale is leading her team in preparing all necessary materials and ensuring that voting machines are ready for use. Despite the long hours and intense workload, Dale remains dedicated to upholding the integrity of the electoral process and ensuring that every vote is counted.

The initial results are set to be unveiled at 8 p.m., accessible at www.elections.imperialcounty.org.

Super Tuesday extends beyond Imperial County. States like Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, and others are hosting their presidential primaries, with 865 Republican delegates and 1,420 Democratic delegates at stake. Additionally, Iowa’s Democratic mail-in caucus will conclude its vote acceptance on Super Tuesday.

Looking ahead, the 2024 United States presidential election looms large. Scheduled for Tuesday, November 5, voters will decide on a president and vice president for a four-year term. Incumbent President Joe Biden seeks re-election, while his predecessor Donald Trump aims for a second, nonconsecutive term.

If both secure their party nominations, it would mark the first presidential rematch since 1956. Numerous primary challengers from both major parties have also thrown their hats into the ring. The election’s winner is set to be inaugurated on January 20, 2025, coinciding with U.S. Senate and House elections, as well as gubernatorial and state legislative races in several states.

California Proposition 1, labeled as the Behavioral Health Services Program and Bond Measure, allows voters to influence the state’s strategy on mental health and homelessness. The proposal seeks to enhance access to mental health addiction treatment, establish supportive housing, diminish reliance on incarceration, and provide assistance to homeless veterans.

As stated in the California Voter Guide, Proposition 1 entails authorizing $6.4 billion in bonds and channeling additional billions annually to address the shortcomings of the mental health system. Its objective is to permanently transition individuals from the streets and tents into comprehensive treatment.

Since Proposition 1 is a bond measure, approval by voters wouldn’t result in immediate new taxes. However, the state would incur new debt with interest obligations. Counties would need to reallocate resources from mental health care and substance abuse services to emphasize housing and tailored support.

Proposition 1 is poised to redirect substantial funds, expanding mental health and addiction services for tens of thousands of Californians yearly. It envisions housing solutions for over 11,000 individuals with severe mental health needs, facilitating recovery and stabilization. Additionally, it allocates $1 billion to address the care needs of veterans grappling with homelessness, mental health issues, and substance abuse.

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