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Municipal Elections

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    General Election Information

    General Municipal Elections are conducted in the City of San Luis Obispo in November of even-numbered years. The next General Municipal Election is scheduled to take place November 6, 2018. Elections consist of two Council Member seats and the Mayor seat. Council Member terms are for four years and the Mayor's term is for two years. Current Council terms are listed on the Mayor and City Council page of this website under "Contacting Council". More information concerning Elective Officials and their terms may be found in the City Charter, Article IV.

    Note: There will be a Statewide Direct Primary Election on June 5, 2018. Please see the California Secretary of State and San Luis Obispo County Clerk websites for more information concerning this election.

    City of San Luis Obispo November 6, 2018 Election:

    Filing period for Nomination Papers and Candidate Statements is July 16 through August 10, 2018.

    Eligibility requirements to run for office are:

    • You must be a resident of the City of San Luis Obispo for at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the election, and
    • Be a registered voter in the City of San Luis Obispo.

    Candidate Intention Statement - Form 501

    Who Files: A candidate for state or local office must file this form for each election, including reelection to the same office. Exception: Candidates for county central committee that do not raise or spend $2,000 or more in a calendar year.

    When to File: File the Form 501 before you solicit or receive any contributions or before you make expenditures from personal funds on behalf of your candidacy. This form is considered filed the date it is postmarked, or hand delivered. Ensure campaign deadlines are met. Go to the fppc website  for more information and campaign disclosure filing schedules.

    Voter Registration

    Campaign Disclosure Statements

    You can view Candidate Controlled Committee, Primarily Formed Committee, and General Purpose Committee financial disclosure documents here. Past election campaign statements are available for inspection and copy in the office of the City Clerk during normal business hours.

    Election Campaign Regulations

    The City of San Luis Obispo has enacted local election campaign regulations contained in Chapter 2.40 of the Municipal Code.

    Political Sign Regulations

    The City and State have established certain rules regarding the placement of posters, leaflets, banners, and other information that fall into the category of political signs. These rules are designed to keep the City clean and safe. Failure to comply may result in confiscation of signs, levying of fines (Municipal Code 1.24), citations for an infraction or misdemeanor prosecution.

    Basic rules include:

    1. You may not put political signs on public property; this includes public buildings and property, public easements, public rights-of-way, parkways, parks, public open space, utility poles, street signs and trees. 
    2. You must have the owner's permission to display signs on private property.
    3. Political signs may be put up at any time prior to the election without City permission; however they must be removed no later than ten (10) days following the election (City Ordinance No. 1407, 2002 Series).
    4. It is illegal to put leaflets, political or otherwise, in or on a vehicle unless the driver or passenger accepts it.  Fines for putting leaflets on cars, e.g., under windshield wipers, can be as high as $1,000, as each leaflet may be considered as a separate violation.

    Past Election information may be found in our archive or by contacting the City Clerk.