This web page contains information regarding municipal elections. National, statewide, and countywide elections are facilitated by the Orange County Registrar of Voters. For more information, please click here to visit the Registrar of Voters’ website or call (714) 567-7600.
The City Clerk serves as the City’s elections official and is responsible for conducting municipal elections in accordance with California Elections Code and other applicable law. For more information regarding municipal elections, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (949) 639-0500 or via our online contact form.
The City of Laguna Woods is a general law city with a Council-Manager form of government, meaning that it operates within the parameters of California municipal law with an elected City Council as its legislative body. The City Council appoints and supervises a professional City Manager who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the City and implementation of the City Council’s ordinances, regulations, and policy direction. The City Council also appoints a City Attorney to serve as the City’s legal counsel.
The five members of the City Council are residents of Laguna Woods who are elected by registered voters to four-year terms. Elections occur “at-large” (citywide) in even-numbered years with two and then three members of the City Council elected at subsequent elections. All five offices are nonpartisan.
The City Council appoints a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem from amongst its membership to preside over City Council meetings, execute certain legal instruments and authorizations, and attend to various representative and ceremonial matters. The Mayor Pro Tem serves as the Mayor in their absence.
Candidates for City Council offices must be:
For more information, please refer to Article XX, Section 3 of the State of California’s Constitution; California Elections Code sections 201 and 10511; and, California Government Code sections 275.2, 1020, and 1021.
California Government Code Section 1021 prohibits individuals who have been convicted of designated crimes as specified in the State of California’s Constitution and laws of the State of California from holding a City Council office (e.g., bribery, perjury, forgery, malfeasance in office, or other high crimes, in accordance with Article VII, Section 8(b) of the State of California’s Constitution).
California Elections Code Section 10220 and 10225 et al. establish the nomination period for City Council offices. Nomination papers are available from the City Clerk’s Office during normal office hours beginning not earlier than the 113th day nor later than the 88th day before each municipal election. In the event that one or more of the incumbent members of the City Council who are eligible to be elected do not file nomination papers by the 88th day before each municipal election, the nomination period extends through the 83rd day before the election for all persons except the incumbent(s) who failed to file.
Article II, Section 6 of the State of California’s Constitution requires all City Council offices to be nonpartisan. Accordingly, the political party preference of candidates for City Council offices is not included on the ballot.
Incompatible Public Offices
California Government Code Section 1099 contains the common law prohibition against the holding of “incompatible public offices.” The prohibition generally restricts the ability of persons to hold two different public offices simultaneously if the offices have overlapping and conflicting public duties. A person may not hold two public offices simultaneously if any of the following is true:
Positions of employment and positions on governmental bodies that have only advisory powers are not subject to the incompatible public offices prohibition.
The consequence of holding an incompatible public office is that the person is “deemed to have forfeited the first office upon acceding to the second.”
If you have questions about the compatibility of public offices that you hold or seek to hold, please contact the California Attorney General’s Office at (916) 322-3360 or click here to visit their website.
On December 20, 2000, the City Council unanimously adopted a $250 contribution limit from any individual to any candidate for office in the City or to any candidate controlled committee for a candidate for office in the City in any single election. The individual contribution limit does not apply to a candidate’s contribution of their personal funds, community property funds, or domestic partnership funds to their own campaign committee, but does apply to separate property contributions from the candidate’s spouse or domestic partner. The individual contribution limit is codified as Laguna Woods Municipal Code Chapter 1.14.
To vote in municipal elections, individuals must be registered to vote in Laguna Woods. For information on how to register to vote, verify voter registration, or update voter registration, please contact the Orange County Registrar of Voters at (714) 567-7600 or click here to visit their website.