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Recall ballots set to arrive this week

Registered voters in Nevada County should receive their 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall Election ballots by the end of the week.

Natalie Adona, the county’s assistant clerk-recorder/registrar of voters, said the Sept. 14 special election poses two questions to voters:

“First, whether they want to recall Gavin Newsom,” Adona said, “and second, if he is recalled, which candidate should replace him.”



According to the California Secretary of State website, if the majority selects “Yes” to the recall question, the replacement candidate with the most votes will replace Newsom for the remainder of his term, which ends Jan. 2, 2023. The new governor would start immediately.

If one-half or more of the votes on the recall question are “No,” Newsom would stay in office.




Adona said the ballots were sent Monday. Election participants should mail in their ballots by election day to ensure their arrival at the elections office no later than seven days after the election. Ballots may also be delivered via drop box or cast in person.

According to Adona, Nevada County was allocated $717,006 by the state’s Department of Finance to perform the election. According to California’s Department of Finance, the special election’s total cost to state taxpayers amounts to $276 million.

Adona said voters should call the elections office at 530-265-1298 if they have not received their ballot by early next week.

HISTORY

Newsom was first elected to his current position in the 2018 midterm election. Eighty percent, or 54,996 of 68,869 registered voters in Nevada County, participated in the election. Fifty-three percent of the votes cast were for Newsom.

The last special election that took place in Nevada County was to replace California’s District 1 assemblyman, Brian Dahle, in November 2019. Only 42% of Nevada County voters, or 28,456 of 67,878 people, participated in the special election. Although Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt received the majority of votes cast in Nevada County, Republican Megan Dahle was elected to replace her husband in the multi-county district.

According to the Nevada County election website, 65,800 of 75,123 registered voters, or 88%, in Nevada County participated in the November election.

WHAT FOR?

Nevada County Republican Party Chairman Bob Hren said he believes the current governor’s offenses range from mismanaging the state’s Employment Development Department to outright “dictatorship.”

Hren said Newsom deprived constituents of their civil liberties via “one-man rule” over the 18-month course of the pandemic.

“The current governor should definitely be replaced,” Hren said.

According to the Secretary of State’s FAQ page on the California Gubernatorial Recall Election, the special election came about in part as a result of the efforts of Orrin Heatlie, a 52-year-old retired county sheriff from Folsom.

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that the petition to recall Newsom passed the 1,495,709 verified signatures threshold required to go forward with the election in April.

Hren said his organization conducted an internal poll and found nearly 90% of the voters favored California’s District 6 Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, based in Rocklin, for the potentially vacated position.

“He wrote the book about Newsom’s corruption, won a lawsuit against the governor and is leading the effort to get our kids back in school without masking and without the Critical Race Theory propaganda,” Hren said.

RECALL OPPOSITION

According to Nevada County Democrats’ Correspondence Secretary Steven Hurley, some voters find the California Democratic Party’s official recommendation — to vote “no” to the recall and not select an alternative — confusing.

“What if Newsom goes down?” Hurley said many people have asked him. “Don’t we want to be on record as supporting a second choice?”

Hurley said he is voting in accordance with the party’s official recommendation, even though bypassing a back up option seems odd.

“I don’t know that it was a well planned thing, but we’re just responding,” Hurley said. “It wasn’t up to us to gather all the signatures to have this wasteful recall.”

Hurley does not anticipate the Republican Party’s recall effort will result in a new state governor, but said both parties will use this time to energize and connect with their base.

“It’s important to us for the same reason Republicans think it’s important,” Hurley said. “In a sense, we’re playing defense, but locally it’s an opportunity as a way to reach out and gather names for the next election cycle.”

Hurley said most Democrats obviously did not want the recall election in the first place, but acknowledged that the kind of people who organize for smaller, special elections help “core activists” stay organized between election cycles.

“It’s a way to grow out our base and gives us a reason to get together,” Hurley explained. “That’s how I’m using it. We didn’t want this, but now that it’s here we’re trying to use this to our advantage.”

Hurley said he thinks the Republicans are doing the same thing.

“They’re trying to keep their base agitated,” Hurley said. “It probably annoys everyone else, but that’s just the way the game is played, I guess.”

Hurley said building enthusiasm from a defensive position is a hard task.

“It has been a bit of a struggle, but it’s early and we’re doing what we can,” Hurley said. “I would say the inertia is hurting us and the initiative is helping them.”

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com

VOTE CENTER AND DROP BOX LOCATIONS

VOTE CENTERS

OPEN 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sept. 3 – 13; and 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sept. 14:

Nevada County Elections Providence Mine Room A & B — 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

Truckee Town Hall — 10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee

OPEN 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sept. 11 – 13; and 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sept. 14:

Gold Miners Inn – 121 Bank St., Grass Valley

Higgins Lions Community Center — 22490 E. Hacienda Drive, Grass Valley

DROP BOXES

BriarPatch Food Co-op — 290 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley

Chicago Park Store — 19077 Colfax Highway, Grass Valley

Grocery Outlet — 616 Sutton Way, Grass Valley; and 11213 Donner Pass Road, Truckee

Gold Miners Inn Lobby — 121 Bank St., Grass Valley

Hills Flat Lumber Co. — 380 Railroad Ave., Grass Valley

SPD Market — 129 W. McKnight Way, Grass Valley

Save Mart – 12054 Nevada City Highway, Grass Valley; and 11399 Deerfield Drive, Truckee

Eric Rood Administrative Center parking lot — 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

Holiday Market — 11324 Pleasant Valley Road, Penn Valley; and 21656 Higgins Road, South County

Sweetland Garden Mercantile — 29435 Highway 49, North San Juan

Truckee Town Hall — 10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee


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