We reported on Sunday March 14th that Hugh Nguyen is challenging incumbent Tom Daly for the Clerk-Recorder seat. Mr. Nguyen is a manager in the office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. He has selected the designation of Assistant Orange County Clerk. Unfortunately for Nguyen, he may not be able to use that ballot designation.
First, there is no such position classification in the County, much less the in the Clerk of the Boardâ€™s office. The designation used by a candidate must describe their primary occupation. Tom Daly is the Orange County Clerk, and the Orange County Recorder, hence the title combination Clerk-Recorder. Use of such a designation implies that Mr. Nguyen is an Assistant to Mr. Daly, the County Clerk. That is of course, untrue.
Here is what the Elections Code has to say about ballot designations:
Proposed ballot designations submitted pursuant to Elections Code Â§ 13107, subdivision (a)(3), shall be subject to the following provisions:
(a) The terms â€œprofession,â€ â€œvocation,â€ or â€œoccupation,â€ as those terms are used in Elections Code Â§ 13107, subdivision (a)(3), are defined as follows
(1) â€œProfessionâ€ means a field of employment requiring special education or skill and requiring specific knowledge of a particular discipline of learning or science. The labor and skill involved in a profession is predominantly mental or intellectual, rather than physical or manual. Recognized professions generally include, but are not limited to, law, medicine, education, engineering, accountancy, and journalism. Examples of an acceptable designation of a â€œprofession,â€ as defined in Elections Code Â§ 13107, subdivision (a)(3), include, but are not limited to, â€œattorney,â€ â€œphysician,â€ â€œaccountant,â€ â€œarchitect,â€ and â€œteacher.â€
(2) â€œVocationâ€ means a trade, a religious calling, or the work upon which a person, in most but not all cases, relies for his or her livelihood and spends a major portion of his or her time. As defined, vocations may include, but are not limited to, religious ministry, child rearing, homemaking, elderly and dependent care, and engaging in trades such as carpentry, cabinetmaking, plumbing, and the like. Examples of an acceptable designation of a â€œvocation,â€ as defined in Elections Code Â§ 13107, subdivision (a)(3), include, but are not limited to, â€œminister,â€ â€œpriest,â€ â€œmother,â€ â€œfather,â€ â€œhomemaker,â€ â€œdependent care provider,â€ â€œcarpenter,â€ â€œplumber,â€ â€œelectrician,â€ and â€œcabinetmaker.â€
(3) â€œOccupationâ€ means the employment in which one regularly engages or follows as the means of making a livelihood. Examples of an acceptable designation of an â€œoccupation,â€ as defined in Elections Code Â§ 13107,
subdivision (a)(3), include, but are not limited to, â€œrancher,â€ â€œrestaurateur,â€ â€œretail salesperson,â€ â€œmanual laborer,â€ â€œconstruction worker,â€ â€œcomputer manufacturing executive,â€ â€œmilitary pilot,â€ â€œsecretary,â€ and â€œpolice officer.â€
(b) â€œPrincipal,â€ as that term is used in Elections Code Â§ 13107, subdivision (a)(3), means a substantial involvement of time and effort such that the activity is one of the primary, main or leading professional, vocational or occupational endeavors of the candidate. The term â€œprincipalâ€ precludes any activity which does not entail a significant involvement on the part of the candidate. Involvement which is only nominal, pro forma, or titular in character does not meet the requirements of the statute.
(c) In order for a ballot designation submitted pursuant to Elections Code Â§ 13107, subdivision (a)(3), to be deemed acceptable by the Secretary of State, it must accurately state the candidate’s principal professions, vocations or occupations, as those terms are defined in subdivisions (a) and (b) herein. Each proposed principal profession, vocation or occupation submitted by the candidate must be factually accurate, descriptive of the candidate’s principal profession, vocation or occupation, must be neither confusing nor misleading, and must be in full and complete compliance with Elections Code Â§ 13107 and the regulations included in this Chapter.
I contacted Daly on Sunday to ask whether he was planning to challenge the designation selected by Hugh Nguyen. He told me that he “needed to do a little more research,” bit it is “most likely” that he will make the challenge.
There may also be another challenge in the race for the Democratic Nomination in the 68th Assembly District. I previsously wrote about Joseph Dovinh’s designation in my post “The Van â€œTranniesâ€ in Democrats Clothing â€“ â€œDoh!â€-vinh.” In this case, Mr. Dovinh has selected the ballot designation of “Communications Media Businessman.”Â According to Mr. Dovinh he is a communications professional with his hand in a number of media outlets.Â He is aÂ freelance journalist and writer with a new blog.Â Â He writes for Vietstar, a weekly newspaper published in Little Saigon, penning an English language columnÂ called â€œNew Voices.â€Â
Heâ€™s also written for Seattle Weekly and done several op-edâ€™s for the Seattle Post Intellgencer and TheÂ Vietnamese American.Â Dovinh is also a TV host and anchorman for VHN and VAN TV (Vietnamese American TV);Â VHN is carried in seven counties throughout California whileÂ VAN is a national network.Â In addition, he also hosts a legal show that featuresÂ Dina Nguyen, a former First District BoS candidate, and a lawyer with Nantha & Associates.Â The program is broadcast in Vietnamese and covers issues pertaining toÂ personal injury, workmanâ€™s comp, business law.Â In addition, Dovinh is also a court contract interpreter for Vietnamese-speaking individuals in San Diego County, LA County and Orange County.
Here is what the elections code says about designations for people with multiple occupations:
(e) A candidate may engage in multiple principal professions, vocations or occupations. Accordingly, the candidate may designate multiple principal professions, vocations or occupations. If a candidate proposes a ballot designation including multiple principal professions, vocations or occupations, the proposed ballot designation must comply with the following provisions:
(1) The proposed ballot designation must comply with the three-word limitation specified in Elections Code Â§ 13107, subdivision (a)(3), and as implemented pursuant to subdivision (f) herein.
(2) Each such proposed profession, vocation or occupation shall be separately considered by the Secretary of State and must independently qualify as a â€œprincipalâ€ profession, vocation or occupation, as that term is defined pursuant to subdivision (b) herein.
(3) When multiple professions, vocations or occupations are proposed as a ballot designation, they shall be separated by a slash (â€œ/â€). An example of an acceptable designation would be â€œLegislator/Rancher/Physician.â€
Based upon this information I would hope that someone would at least look in to whether the designation o Communications Media Businessman is appropriate for Mr. Dovinh.