On Monday, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla noted that the Nov. 3, 2020, election was a year away. That, of course, will be the presidential election, the quadrennial event that can change the course and the tone of the country.

(Note to observant skeptics: Nov. 3 was Sunday, but 2020 is a leap year.)

Padilla also noted, more urgently, that the March 3 primary was 121 days away, a little more than 17 weeks. While much of the nation will be focused on selecting a challenger to President Donald J. Trump, Redlands voters will make a decision that could change the character of our town: Whether to lift decades-old growth limitations to allow high-density transit villages around the three Redlands stations planned along the new Redlands Passenger Rail Project.

The City Council approved four items Tuesday night to set the referendum in motion for the to the March 3:

• Consideration of a resolution to allow City Clerk Jeanne Donaldson to formally submit the measure to the registrar of voters. The council approved the proposed measure on March 5. Since then, environmental reports have been conducted on the potential effects of the transit villages.

• A resolution certifying the environmental reports.

• A resolution ordering the submission of an ordinance to submit the ballot measure to the voters.

• And consideration of a resolution to prepare a ballot argument on the measure.

Two significant offices representing Redlands voters will be on the March 3 ballot: The Third District seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and the 23rd District seat in the California State Senate.

Dawn Rowe of Yucca Valley was appointed to the Third District seat in December in a decision that prompted accusations of a violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act, California’s open meeting law.

Superior Court Judge Janet M. Frangie ruled on Sept. 18 that the board violated the act by failing to disclose the selections made by the four supervisors and ordered the appointment to be made by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The board has appealed the ruling.

Candidate filing officially opens on Tuesday, Nov. 12, but several candidates have already announced their intention to run for supervisor or the Senate seat.

Rowe plans to run.

The registrar’s unofficial list of candidates includes six challengers, including Redlands City Councilman Eddie Tejada and Redlands residents Kaiser Ahmed, Mike Saifie, Yucaipa resident Karen Ickes, and Roy George and Latron Lester.

State Sen. Mike Morrell, a Republican from Rancho Cucamonga, has represented the 23rd District since 2014. He will be termed out at the end of next year.

Three Republicans — Rosilicie Bogh, a trustee on the Yucaipa-Calimesa Unified School District board, Cristina Puraci, president of the Redlands Unified School District board, and Lloyd White, a Beaumont City Councilman who works at Esri in Redlands — have announced their candidacies. Two Democrats — Abigail Rosales Medina, president of the San Bernardino City Unified School District board, and Kris Goodfellow, a former journalist who owns a Redlands business — also are running.

Also listed on the registrar’s unofficial list is Hank Ramey, a Democrat from San Bernardino.

The district has been represented by Republicans for years. However, registration is fairly evenly split. According to aroundthecapitol.com, 35.3 percent of registered voters are Republicans, 35.2 percent are Democrats, 24.1 percent decline to state and the rest represent minority parties.

In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 3 percentage points.

In 2014, Republican Neal Kaskari beat Gov. Jerry Brown 57.7 percent to 42.3 percent.

And in 2012, Republican Mitt Romney led President Barack Obama 51.8 percent to 46 percent.

Secretary State Padilla said, “If you’ve moved, changed your name, or want to update your political party, you will need to re-register to vote.

Elections officials are preparing for high turnout in 2020, so every citizen should be registered and ready to go with a plan to vote well before the polls open.”

Voters who declare “no party preference” can request American Independent Party, Democratic Party, or Libertarian Party presidential primary ballot. Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary.

Democracy works best when more qualified voters cast ballots. The Redlands Community News encourages our readers to let us know your positions on the issues and the candidates.

Most important: Make sure you’re registered and VOTE!

Calendar

Nov. 12: Candidate filing begins.

 Dec. 6: Filing deadline. n Jan. 28: Voter Information Guides delivered to U.S. Post Office.

 Feb. 3: Early voting begins and mail ballots are delivered to the post office.

Feb. 17: Last day to register.

March 3: Election Day.

To check your registration status: Visit VoterStatus.sos.ca.gov.

To re-register or to register for the first time: Visit RegisterToVote.ca.gov.