Shasta County clerk’s office working on new voting plan | Regional

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The Shasta County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to hand count votes in future elections. County officials are preparing ahead of a special election in March next year and the November presidential election.



SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. – Elections will look much different going forward in Shasta County following Tuesday’s 3-2 supervisors vote to hand-count ballots. New plans for next year’s elections start now.

The county still has to create and approve a new voting plan before anything else can happen.

“We still have to have a voting system to go through the simple process of creating a ballot,” said Joanna Francescut, the assistant county clerk.

With a special election coming up in March of next year and a presidential election in November, Francescut said there’s still a lot of details to figure out.

“I can’t create ballots without a voting system, according to California law,” Francescut said. “So first and foremost, we have to go back to the board to get a contract for voting.”

Going forward the county will have to find a larger location for hand-counting to accommodate about 1,300 election workers.

The county clerk’s office said it will need to hire for ballot counting and be in ADA compliance. At the baseline, the cost of hand-counting ballots will be around $1.9 million.

The Shasta County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to hand count votes in future elections. County officials are preparing ahead of a special election in March next year and the November presidential election.



“It takes time to get that developed,” Francescut said. “We try to recruit 400 poll workers for every election and we struggle for the recruitment for just that one day so I do think it will take time and we need to get going on that immediately for the November of 2024 election.”

Francescut said hand-counting ballots will take longer to get results. The Dominion system results could come in within days, while hand-counting is likely to take weeks.

“We’re 340 days away from March 5, 2024, and that’s really quick when it comes to elections work so we need to be ready to go by mid-November. And so we have a lot of work to do in the next few months,” Francescut said.

District 2 Supervisor Tim Garman voted no to hand-counting.







Shasta County Clerk & Elections office




“We still need to choose a voting system and it needs to provide the task of creating the ballots because now can’t even create a ballot. So that voting system needs to create a ballot and it’s got to provide accessibility for the disabled,” Garman said.

He said he’s not concerned about the county being sued for ending its contract with Dominion two years early. However, he said the county will likely pay around $50,000 to get the equipment back to Dominion. He said while the 2024 presidential election is over a year away rerouting to a new voting system will be challenging.

“We’re going to do our best to get the system up and running as fast as we can,” Garman said. “There’s nothing else we can do at this point. That’s the way we voted on it and now it’s our job and the registrar’s job to get it up and running and hopefully, we can get it certified by the March election.”

Action News Now reached out to the three supervisors who voted to go to hand-counting as well.

After going to Patrick Jones’ gun shop in Redding, he said he didn’t feel comfortable commenting at this time and would release his own statement later. Chris Kelstrom and Kevin Crye have not responded.

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Shasta County clerk’s office working on new voting plan | Regional

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