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Frequently Asked Questions – Odd to Even Years Election Changes


Why did I receive a letter about a change to district election dates?

You received the letter because the law requires us to notify you when districts move their election date.


Why are my districts moving their election dates?

In 2015, Senate Bill 415 (SB 415) passed and made the move a requirement if the turnout for the odd-year election is significantly lower than the average turnout for the last four general elections. This is the case in Monterey County. When this happens, local districts must present a plan to move elections. The plan is due at the beginning of 2018 and the change to election dates must occur no later than 2022. California Election Code gives districts the option of moving board member election dates from odd-year elections to even-year elections earlier. This is the case with all Districts in Monterey County, with the exception of one school district. 


Why is the state requiring this?

SB 415 is intended to increase turnout in local elections. According to a policy brief by California Common Cause, numerous studies of California local elections have shown that odd-year local elections have dramatically lower turnout than local elections held concurrently with state elections. 


When is the next election date for the districts that are moving?

The next election for the districts that are moving is November 6, 2018.


How is the turnout comparison calculated for Monterey County?


To determine if turnout meets the criteria to warrant a change of election dates, we first determine the average turnout for the last four general elections.












Average Turnout  ((73.80+45.32+75.11+63.32)/4)



The threshold is then calculated by subtracting 25% from the average turnout.


Significant Decrease (64.39% - 25%)



In the table below, we can determine that in each of our last four odd-numbered year elections, Monterey County experienced a significant decrease in voter turnout. In other words, in each of the last four odd-year elections, turnout percentages fell below the threshold.


Turnout (< = >)


39.39% > 18.62%


39.39% > 31.83%


39.39% > 24.15%


39.39% > 30.18%


Are other counties in the State moving to even-year elections?

Many counties already conduct all local elections with the even-year general elections. Those counties that continue to conduct odd-year elections are working with their respective districts to initiate the move to even-year elections.



Did all local districts move their election this year?

No.  The North Monterey County Unified School District decided to keep the 2017 board member election. 



Which districts are moving board member elections to even-years?

All special districts, the Monterey County Board of Education and most school districts decided to move their election beginning this year. Below is the list of districts moving governing board member elections beginning with the 2017-2018 election cycle:


  • Monterey County Board of Education
  • Soledad Unified School District
  • Monterey Peninsula Community College District
  • Bradley Union School District
  • Hartnell Community College District
  • South Monterey County Joint Union High School District
  • Alisal Union School District
  • Spreckels Union School District
  • Big Sur Unified School District
  • Washington Union School District
  • Carmel Unified School District
  • Cachagua Fire Protection District
  • Chualar Union School District
  • Carmel Area Wastewater District
  • Gonzales Unified School District
  • Carmel Valley Recreation & Park District
  • Graves Elementary Union School District
  • Castroville Community Services District
  • Greenfield Union School District
  • Cypress Fire Protection District
  • King City Union School District
  • Gonzales Rural Fire Protection District
  • Lagunita Elementary School District
  • Greenfield Fire Protection District
  • Mission Union School District
  • Greenfield Memorial District
  • Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
  • Monterey Peninsula Water Management District
  • Pacific Grove Unified School District
  • North County Fire Protection District
  • Salinas City Elementary School District
  • Pebble Beach Community Services District
  • Salinas Union High School District
  • San Ardo Water District
  • San Antonio Union School District
  • San Lucas Water District
  • San Ardo Elementary Union School District
  • Santa Lucia Community Services District
  • San Lucas Union School District
  • Spreckels Community Services District
  • Santa Rita Union School District
  • Spreckels Memorial District
  • West Hills Community College






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