Voting rights groups urge Shasta County elections to be monitored due to ‘misinformation’

By Jenavieve Hatch,
The Sacramento Bee,
October 27, 2023


A nonpartisan coalition of voting rights advocates has asked the California Secretary of State’s o!ce to monitor upcoming elections in Shasta County
because of concerns about safety and the spread of misinformation.

In a letter sent to Secretary of State Shirley Weber on Tuesday, members of six voting rights groups called for an “urgent, decisive, and sustained response from
your once.”

Representatives from ACLU Northern California, the League of Women Voters, Disability Rights California, Verified Voting, California Common Cause, and the California Voter Foundation cite three reasons that Shasta County needs the state to provide extra election monitors in the November 2023 and March 2024 elections.

Earlier this year Shasta’s Board of Supervisors ended the county’s contract with Dominion Voting Systems after baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The supervisors cited unfounded assertions that Dominion machines were hacked in the 2020 election and led to the defeat of former President Donald Trump.

In their letter, the voting rights groups say that Board Chair Patrick Jones, one of the three far-right members, has indicated that the county will not adhere to new legislation which bars the hand counting of ballots. Newsom signed Assembly Bill 969, authored by Santa Cruz Democrat and former county clerk Gail Pellerin, on October 4.

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Finally, the voting rights advocate said, the county elections o!ce and the county clerk, Cathy Darling Allen (a chair on the California Voter Foundation board) simply don’t have the resources to manage both the implementation of a new voting system (which they must undertake since the Board ended its contract with Dominion), the monitoring of two elections and potentially dealing with potentially disruptive or violent observers.

Allen said her offce is coordinating with local law enforcement and with the FBI. They have not received any specific threats.

“We’re just trying to be proactive at this point,” she said.

Allen was not involved with the October 24 letter, but welcomes any support from Secretary of State’s once.

“In my office, my staff" and I are working hard ... we’re committing to making sure (voters’) voices are heard, and that their votes are counted accurately and quickly.” (Full Story)