Voter advocacy groups ask California to monitor upcoming Shasta County election

By David Benda and Damon Arthur,
Record Searchlight,
October 26, 2023


Six nonprofit, nonpartisan voter advocacy groups have sent a letter to Secretary of State Shirley Weber requesting that she take action because they have “grave” concerns about
Shasta County’s upcoming Nov. 7 special election.

It's the latest chapter in a potential legal battle that would pit Shasta County against the state over tallying votes.

The nonprofit groups are asking that Weber's office, among other things, monitor the election to make sure the county is following the law and give Shasta County Registrar of
Voters Cathy Darling Allen any help she requests.

The letter also was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta, Shasta County's five supervisors and Darling Allen.

Assemblywoman Gail Pellerin, D-Santa Cruz, who authored Assembly Bill 969, which essentially bans tallying votes by hand except in the tiniest towns and was signed into law by Newsome on Oct. 4, was also sent the letter.

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.

"Our requests are based on the following grave concerns, which we believe call for urgent, decisive, and sustained response from your office, not the least because of the rapid approach of a special election in Shasta County on November 7, 2023, and the presidential primary election on March 5, 2024," the letter in part states.

Shasta Supervisor Patrick Jones, who chairs the board, has insisted that votes will be counted by hand and has threatened litigation if the state tries to stop the county by invoking the provisions of AB 969. (Full Story)