“My Office Stands Ready To Take Any Actions Necessary”: California Secretary of State Warns That Shasta Elections Must Comply with New State Law

By Annelise Pierce,
Shasta Scout,
October 29, 2023


California’s Secretary of State, Shirley Weber, has responded to a letter sent last week by a group of nonprofit, nonpartisan voting rights advocates by issuing a stern warning to Shasta County officials. Comply with new state law AB 969, which forbids hand counting in jurisdictions with more than 1,000 registered voters, Weber wrote, or be ready for her office to take any actions necessary to ensure the county does so.

As California Secretary of State, Weber is the state’s chief election officer, tasked with overseeing the elections process statewide. She is responding in no uncertain terms to recent claims by Shasta County Board Chair Patrick Jones that AB 969 might not apply in Shasta County because the decision to hand count votes locally was made months before the bill was created.

That claim, Weber wrote in her letter, dated October 27, is based on the “unfounded theory” that Shasta County was somehow “grandfathered in.”

“Such a claim,” Weber stated decisively, “is wholly without merit and has no basis in law.”

As of October 4, she wrote, AB 969 is state law and any actions that contradict it would be a violation of state law. 

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

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In response, Jones suggested to Shasta Scout that the organizations, which include Disability Rights California, the California Voter Foundation, the League of Women Voters, Verified Voters, Common Cause and the ACLU of Northern California, should “do a little work, do a little research and really think about what’s actually going on” with elections.

Jones repeated many of his prior claims about what he believes is ongoing statewide elections fraud and said he’s currently searching for the “appropriate attorney . . . to take the case for 969.”

“If we find such,” Jones continued, “we’ll bring it back to a majority of the board and if it’s passed by a majority of the board we’ll move forward.”

But, Jones said, regardless of whether an attorney is found, the fight against what he feels is a fraudulent local voting process will continue. 

“This is not going to stop no matter what happens. People know too much now. They’ve been working on it; investigating lots of information . . . and history will prove itself in time.” (Full Story)