ITEMS TO NOTE
Westlands Water District 2022 General Election
On November 8, 2022, the District will conduct an all-mail general election. No polling place will be established.
This election is for the office of Director and five seats must be filled, as follows:
- Four seats that expire on December 2, 2022. The term for these four seats runs through noon on December 4, 2026.
- One partial/unexpired term seat. The term for this seat runs through December 6, 2024.
To qualify for the position of Director, the person shall be 18 years of age or older and be either:
- A holder of title to land within the District,
- The legal representative of the holder of title to land within the District in accordance with California Water Code Section 34030, or
- A representative designated by a holder of title to land within the District, if the holder of title has filed written evidence of that designation with the District.
Forms for declarations of candidacy for the office will be available for eligible candidates from the District’s Secretary at 3130 N. Fresno Street, Fresno, California 93703 on or after July 18, 2022.
The forms for declaration of candidacy must be filed with the District Secretary no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 12, 2022. Forms may be filed in person or by mail. If filing by mail, the form must reach the Secretary no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 12, 2022.
In the event there are no candidates or an insufficient number of candidates for these positions and a petition calling for an election is not filed within the time period prescribed in Section 10515 of the Elections Code, appointment to the Director positions will be made as prescribed by law.
The District encourages all landowners to vote in the 2022 general election scheduled for November 8, 2022.
Ballots, Voter Pamphlets, Authorization To Vote and Appointment Of Proxy forms, Candidate Information, and Identification/Return Envelopes are scheduled to be mailed to all landowners on or about Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
Historically, ballots along with required forms were filed with the District’s Secretary together. As part of the continued effort to reduce the number of uncounted ballots, the District established a “pre-authorization process,” – a process for landowners to file, prior to casting ballots, the Authorization to Vote and Appointment of Proxy forms prior to casting ballots.
If a form is required for a landowner to cast a ballot and a landowner fails to submit a properly completed and signed form, the ballot will be rejected.
Authorization to Vote Form / Alternative Documentation
Many landowners are required to file the AUTHORIZATION TO VOTE FORM or OTHER DOCUMENTATION DESIGNATING THE AUTHORIZED INDIVIDUAL TO VOTE. If the landowner is not a natural person (such as partnership, corporation, association, trust), title to the land is held as community property (such as a joint tenancy or tenants in common), or title is held by an estate, guardianship, or conservatorship, then a completed AUTHORIZATION TO VOTE FORM (a copy of which is attached to this notice) or other documentation must be filed with the District’s Secretary prior to casting a ballot.
If you are already identified as an individual trustee, you do not need to fill out any additional paperwork.
Appointment of Proxy Form
If you intend to vote by proxy, a completed APPOINTMENT OF PROXY FORM (a copy of which is attached to this notice) must be filed with the District’s Secretary prior to casting a ballot.
The attached authorization to vote and appointment of proxy forms are similar forms to those that will be provided on October 11, 2022, with the landowner ballots and other election materials. The attached forms are provided with this Notice to support “pre-authorization”.
If you desire to participate in the pre-authorization process, and you are not sure of the name of the landowner (holder of title), you can obtain that information by contacting Fresno County or Kings County Assessor’s office, Jessie Xiong at (559) 241-6212, or the District Secretary at (559) 241-6203.
The District established the pre-authorization process to provide landowners with additional time to complete the form(s) if necessary and desired.
If the landowner is required to file an Authorization to Vote form (or other documentation) or desires to complete an Appointment of Proxy form, then these forms may be submitted to the District Secretary in advance of the general election to review. By filing in advance, the District Secretary will be able to identify if the form is incomplete or incorrectly completed and notify the landowner of the need to provide additional information or correct the information in advance of returning a ballot. If the landowner desires to submit a form in advance, the District requests that the landowner do so by August 5, 2022, to provide staff with sufficient time to review and respond. The forms can be hand delivered to the District Secretary at 3130 N. Fresno Street, Fresno, California 93703, mailed to the District Secretary at P.O. Box 6056, Fresno, CA 93703-6056, or e-mailed to the District Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: The District will be updating the landowner records with information from both Fresno and Kings Counties and will finalize the Voter Roster on or about September 24, 2022. If you submit a form prior to that date, the form may need to be resubmitted to reflect the landowner listed in the Voter Roster.
Although the District is implementing the pre-authorization process, a landowner may submit a form at any time up until the close of the election.
District Secretary is Available to Help
Please call the District Secretary if you have questions about voting, properly obtaining authorization to vote, or properly appointing a proxy. The District Secretary can be reached at (559) 241-6203, by email at email@example.com, by calling the main office at (559) 224-1523, or by calling the office’s toll-free line at (800) 266-6574.
Updates to Landowner Records
Voting By Trusts
To ensure the timely receipt of ballot materials by landowners, the District needs to update its election ownership information with respect to lands that are held in the name of a trust.
If you have recorded a new or revised deed since the 2020 election, and if that deed was not previously provided to the District, it is necessary that you provide the District a copy of that deed.
If a trustee(s) has changed or was not noted on the deed when recorded, the District requests a copy of the Grant Deed or Trust document listing the trustee(s).
If there have been any other changes to Trusts such as changes in trustees, changes in trustee names, successor trustees or any address changes to any trustee, please notify the District to ensure that accurate ballot(s) can be issued.
In addition, the District needs a current mailing address for the trustee(s). With this information, the District can then issue and mail ballots directly to the trustee(s), eliminating the need for the trust to complete an “Authorization to Vote” form.
Secondary Ownership Address Needed
Before an election, the District updates its land ownership records from data provided by the Fresno and Kings County Assessors’ offices. This data, however, only contains the addresses for the primary owners. To avoid receiving multiple ballots and having to forward them to co-owners, the District requests that primary owners provide the District with co-owner mailing addresses. Updating the addresses will allow the District to mail the ballots directly to these co-owners, thereby avoiding delays and any inconvenience.
Please submit the information requested above in writing by August 5, 2022, to the District at P.O. Box 6056, Fresno, CA 93703-6056 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional assistance or information, please contact the District Secretary at (559) 241-6203 or Jessie Xiong (559) 241-6212.