3 p.m. Feb. 4: Today Shasta County clerk/registrar of voters Cathy Darling Allen reported that all but 121 ballots of the previously uncounted 1,975 ballots have been tallied.
Although Darling Allen emphasized that neither she nor her office are ready to officially “call” the election yet, it does appear that the recall has passed, and District 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty will be removed from office.
One significant change in the recall election results has to do with the candidates. Previously, candidate Dale Ball was in the lead. Today, contender Tim Garman has a 126-vote lead, and looks to be the winner, unless more mail-in votes change the outcome. According to Darling Allen, that scenario is remotely possible, but highly unlikely.
Click here for more details from the Shasta County Elections Department.
Correctly postmarked ballots may still arrive by mail up until the legal deadline of Tues. Feb. 8, 2022.
As thousands of Shasta County residents anxiously await the outcome of the District 2 recall election, the county clerk said Thursday it could be days or even weeks before there’s an official answer.
Currently 1,975 uncounted ballots have the power to seal the election’s fate one way or another: Will the recall election of District 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty pass, or will it fail? Right now, it’s all about the numbers that have remained unchanged since Tuesday: 52.78 percent of District 2 voters said yes to the recall, while 47.22 percent said no.
It’s expected that the 1,975 number will grow slightly as other mail-in ballots that were postmarked in time for the election find their way to the elections office, such as from District 2 voters who are overseas or serving in the military.
Case in point, Cathy Darling Allen, Shasta County clerk and registrar of voters, said her office received about 15 ballots in the mail today.
During a Thursday-afternoon virtual media call Darling Allen said that although she had no new announcements about the election results, she did want to explain what the public could expect in the upcoming days and weeks with regard to the election-results process.
The biggest news was that elections office staff would begin tallying the remaining in-hand mail-in ballots on Friday.
“That will be the first time that we’ve added ballots to the count since election night,” she said.
Darling Allen said she hopes to release the updated results sometime Friday afternoon.
Even so, there are multiple remaining steps involved before the election is complete and deemed official.
Included in the process is the legally required hand-count of 1 percent of the ballots, a process that began today and is being live-streamed for public viewing on the election office Facebook page.
Also, Darling Allen said her department has committed to performing an additional “risk limiting audit” that will begin around the middle of the month.
The election cannot be certified until the audit’s completion.
After that, Darling Allen will hand-deliver the results to a meeting of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors who will declare the victor, although that date remains undetermined.
The two upcoming board of supervisors meetings are those scheduled for Feb. 8 and Feb. 15. However, Darling Allen said it’s unlikely the audits will be finished in time to get on either of those board agendas. The next board of supervisors meeting is March 1, which is the most probable date for the supervisors to receive the official election results.
Technically, the elections office has 28 days to finish counting the ballots after the election, which would mean Feb. 28, though Darling Allen does not anticipate it will take that long.
Darling Allen’s best guess is that the certification process would happen sometime around mid February.
In the event the recall does pass, it’s up to Shasta County Counsel to determine when a new supervisor would be seated as Moty’s replacement.
If the recall fails, then Moty will resume being the board chair and District 2 supervisor.
Darling Allen answered media questions, such as from one reporter who wondered if it was taking longer than usual for this election’s results.
“This actually isn’t taking any longer than any other election,” Darling Allen said, adding that her office has deliberately kept to the regular schedule of results-reporting.
“We release the set results we have available on Tuesday night, and then we don’t tabulate again until Friday,” she said. “That’s how we do it every single election.”
And what about the people who showed up at the elections department yesterday in protest of mail-in ballots?
Darling Allen said that she was away from the building during the small protest, but she’d heard about it. She noted that Shasta County voters have favored mail-in ballots for many years, and in fact, 80 percent of Shasta County voters have requested to have their ballots mailed to them.
Using this recent election as an example, Darling Allen said that approximately 469 people voted at a polling place, and about 405 came to the elections office to vote, leaving approximately 5,900 who chose to vote by mail, not counting the uncounted mail-in ballots that will be tallied tomorrow.
“I’m not sure how to counteract information that may be incorrect. It’s a really tough challenge,” Darling Allen said.
“People ask me quite frequently to help them understand how to recreate trust in the election system, and this office has done nothing to break that trust. So it’s really a difficult problem that we all are working on and thinking about very carefully here in this office. But it’s interesting that the folks who have created the mistrust are not the ones who are being asked these questions.”
Darling Allen said that she would hold another virtual meeting Friday to announce the updated vote tally.
If you appreciate A News Cafe’s coverage, please consider being a subscriber. Thank you.