Talk of bringing San Diego Unified school board member Katherine Nakamura back onto the ballot could be quashed by a city code that bars write-in candidates in general elections.

Nakamura placed third in the June primary, behind middle school math teacher Kevin Beiser and businessman Stephen Rosen. Because only the top two candidates advance to the fall election, that would prevent her from being listed on the November ballot, effectively killing her chances.

Some supporters are talking about reviving those chances through a write-in campaign. To qualify, Nakamura would need to gather 200 signatures in the fall and pay a filing fee. A similar tactic was attempted by former school board member Luis Acle, who failed to qualify for the primary, but Acle also failed to gather enough signatures to run a write-in campaign.

Nakamura told the Union-Tribune that she was weighing the idea, despite the difficulty of write-in campaigns. (Nakamura did not respond to an e-mail from me over the weekend asking about the idea.)

But a city code could make it impossible for Nakamura to revive her campaign. The rules state that “write-in candidates are not permitted in district general elections (and) city-wide general elections.”

Cathy Glaser, election processing supervisor at the county registrar, was informed today about code, which was changed after City Councilwoman Donna Frye was nearly elected mayor on a write-in campaign in 2004. (You can read the full code for yourself here.)

Glaser said it is unclear, however, if the code would apply to elections for the San Diego Unified school board. If it doesn’t, Nakamura might still be able to run. Glaser said that legal question needs to be settled by county counsel, who is not available today.

We’ll update you if we hear more.

Update: Nakamura said she did not receive the e-mail I sent about the write-in campaign, which would, of course, make it very difficult for her to respond to it. Cyberspace can be a tricky thing!

— EMILY ALPERT

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