Registrar of voters: Secretary of State reps could be in Shasta County for election

By David Benda,
Record Searchlight,
November 3, 2023


Shasta County Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen anticipates officials from the California Secretary of State’s Office to be in Redding for the upcoming special election.

Darling Allen told the Record Searchlight in an email that she believes "we will have observers here from the (Secretary of State) next week.”

The Secretary of State’s Office did not immediately reply to an email that asked if its representatives planned to be in Shasta County for the election and if so, in what capacity.

Tuesday’s election will be the first in Shasta County since Assembly Bill 969 became law. Signed on Oct. 4 by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the law bans the hand counts in elections in all but the smallest jurisdictions in California.

The new law targets Shasta County’s controversial move to eliminate machine tallies in local elections.

Shasta Board of Supervisor Chair Patrick Jones has threatened to ignore the new law.

But in a letter to Jones and the other four supervisors, Secretary of State Shirley Weber said Shasta County is subject to all the provisions in the new law and that any suggestion otherwise “is wholly without merit and has no basis in law.”

“I expect that you will uphold your obligation to comply with the law. Failing that, my office stands ready to take any actions necessary to ensure that Shasta County conducts all elections in accordance with state law,” the Oct. 27 letter in part stated.

Also last week, six nonprofit, nonpartisan voter advocacy groups sent a letter to Weber requesting that she take action because they have “grave” concerns about Shasta County’s special election.

California Voter Foundation, ACLU of Northern California, California Common Cause, Disability Rights California, League of Women Voters of California and Verified Voting sent the letter. (Full Story)