March 5 election set records
The March 5 primary election saw several records set, some noteworthy and some the Nevada County electorate would just as soon forget.
The election was certified by the Elections Office Thursday after the official canvass in which 1 percent of the vote was counted by hand to verify the accuracy of computerized ballot scanners.
Records were set for the closest margin of victory in a city contest and the largest margin of victory in a county race.
Nevada City Treasurer Gene Downing was edged out by challenger Niel Locke by a mere five votes.
In the race for clerk-recorder, incumbent Lorraine Jewett-Burdick defeated challenger Kevin Waggoner by a 72 percent to 28 percent margin.
Only 31,230 of the county’s 58,310 registered voters voted, making for the lowest turnout in a gubernatorial primary since the Elections Office started keeping records in 1974, Jewett-Burdick said.
More than 30 percent of the electorate cast its votes by mail – the highest absentee voter percentage ever, including gubernatorial and presidential primaries and general elections, Jewett-Burdick said.
The election was marred by mail delivery delays which caused 215 absentee ballots to arrive at the Elections Office too late to be counted.
As predicted, more and more voters are voting absentee, Jewett-Burdick said. “But we need absentee voters to understand that mail delays can and do occur, so they need to mail their ballots in early.”
Three of the four candidates who will run for two open seats on the Board of Supervisors in the November general election filed late campaign contribution reports for the March 5 primary.
District 3 Supervisor incumbent Bruce Conklin received $3,000 from Mountain People’s Warehouse owner Michael Funk. Previously, Funk contributed $5,000 to the Conklin campaign.
Conklin also reported $1,000 from the Nevada County Employees Association in the late 24-hour filing period.
Conklin’s reported total for the election season is $37,636.
Conklin’s challenger, Drew Bedwell, received $1,000 from the Nevada County Republican Central Committee, which had previously given $500 to the Bedwell campaign.
Bedwell’s reported contributions for the election season are more than $34,000.
District 4 Supervisor incumbent Elizabeth Martin received $1,000 from the Nevada County Employees Association and $2,000 from her mother-in-law, Edith Pasner.
Martin’s reported total for the election season is $78,000.
Martin’s challenger, Robin Sutherland, reported no contributions in the late 24-hour filing period. Her reported campaign total for the election season is more than $32,500.
No late contributions were reported by Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick, who won the primary outright.
Challengers clerk-recorder candidate Kevin Waggoner; District 3 Supervisor candidate Mark Johnson; and District 4 candidates Rene Antonson, Michael Harris and Bill Steele – reported no late contributions.
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