Election chiefs: Shelley’s woes won’t hurt voters | TheUnion.com

Election chiefs: Shelley’s woes won’t hurt voters

Nevada County Clerk-Recorder Kathleen Smith, and her peers across the state, promised voters Thursday that investigations of California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley will not hinder November elections.

“The election is in good hands here in Nevada County. We are calm and diligently proceeding,” Smith said.

Shelley is being investigated for allegedly routing state money to his own campaign. The San Francisco Chronicle sparked the investigations by reporting that five donors gave $25,000 contributions each to Shelley’s campaign around the time that they received payments of similar amounts from the San Francisco Neighbors Resource Center, a nonprofit group run by his friend Julie Lee, a San Francisco real estate broker.

The nonprofit had received a $500,000 state grant, arranged by then-Assemblyman Shelley, that was designated to develop a community center that was never built.

Investigations are currently underway to determine where the money went, and the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials released a statement Wednesday to ensure residents throughout California that their county election offices will not be affected.

County election officials and the Secretary of State officials play different rolls in the voting preparation process. On the county level, officials are responsible for registering voters, sending out sample ballot booklets, determining polling locations, training poll workers, and counting the voted ballots.

All the duties the Secretary of State are responsible for have already been completed except certifying the final polling results. Therefore, “what is happening with the Secretary of State Office between now and the election doesn’t impact us at all,” Smith said.

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