Elections office suspends in-person service over security concerns | SierraSun.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Elections office suspends in-person service over security concerns

The Office of the Nevada County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters has temporarily shut its doors to in-person services after a group forced its way inside and pushed an employee, Gregory Diaz said in a statement.

Diaz, the county’s clerk-recorder/registrar of voters, said the decision was made over security concerns in connection with a recall petition.

“A group of recall proponents, displeased with our office’s efforts to initiate a COVID-19 protocol and enforce a mask mandate, forcibly entered the Clerk-Recorder/Registrar’s Office lobby demanding to know the status of their recall effort,” Diaz said in his statement. “They knew that our office was implementing a COVID-19 protocol, were asked to wear masks before entry and refused, and were offered alternative means to obtain our services but refused to take them. Rather than work with us peacefully, three proponents stormed our office, pushed an employee, and claimed that they had a right to appear in our office in person.”



According to Diaz, neither the state or federal constitutions, nor county ordinance, gives “any member of the public unfettered access to our office.”

RECALL

Calvin Clark, a recall supporter, said he visited Diaz’s office last Wednesday, telling an employee she should help his group even though they wore no masks, claiming it was discriminatory. The employee then helped them.



Clark said another group of recall supporters visited the office on Thursday. Clark wasn’t there, but he said he saw a video of what occurred.

A new policy was in effect that Thursday. People had to ring a bell for service, he said.

“If they want to get behind their glass and wear double and triple masks, OK,” Clark said. “Everybody knows what happened. We got a video. We didn’t storm the building. Somebody ought to get their facts straight.”

Clark claims someone tried to slam a door on a recall supporter, injuring her foot.

Recall supporters seek to remove all five supervisors, claiming government overreach and failing to reopen the county when the coronavirus began to diminish.

CLERK-RECORDER’S DUTY

Diaz said that in his position his duty is to “maintain a safe and healthy work environment, free of harassment, intimidation, and threat of violence.”

“As the elected Nevada County clerk-recorder/registrar of voters, I have a duty to keep our guests and employees safe,” Diaz said in his statement. “Unfortunately, this means that we must close our lobby to in-person services temporarily until our office can safely conduct business.

Diaz said his duty is to serve all of the county’s citizens.

“Unlike public meetings, the Office of the Clerk-Recorder is not a public forum,” he said. “There is an expectation that all visitors treat others, including our staff, with respect and decorum.

“We apologize to our constituents for any inconvenience that this temporary closure has caused and look forward to welcoming you all in person soon.”

Staff Writer William Roller contributed to this report

 

CONTACT CLERK-RECORDER/ELECTIONS

Clerk-Recorder

nc.recorder@co.nevada.ca.us

530.265.1223

Drop box in lobby of Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

Elections

elections.mail@co.nevada.ca.us

530.265.1298

GREGORY DIAZ’S STATEMENT

Last Thursday, the Office of the Nevada County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters made the decision to temporarily close its lobby over security concerns relating to a recall petition, Gregory Diaz said in a statement.

A group of recall proponents, displeased with our office’s efforts to initiate a COVID-19 protocol and enforce a mask mandate, forcibly entered the Clerk-Recorder/Registrar’s office lobby demanding to know the status of their recall effort. They knew that our office was implementing a COVID-19 protocol, were asked to wear masks before entry and refused, and were offered alternative means to obtain our services but refused to take them. Rather than work with us peacefully, three proponents stormed our office, pushed an employee, and claimed that they had a right to appear in our office in person, Diaz said.

To be clear: Neither the state nor federal constitutions, nor any county ordinance, give any member of the public unfettered access to our office.

The county’s leadership has a duty to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, free of harassment, intimidation, and threat of violence. As the elected Nevada County clerk-recorder/registrar of voters, I have a duty to keep our guests and employees safe. Unfortunately, this means that we must close our lobby to in-person services temporarily until our office can safely conduct business.

As a countywide elected officer, Diaz said the county clerk-recorder/registrar of voters has a duty to serve all of Nevada County’s citizens. The clerk-recorder/registrar of voters also has the discretion to decide the rules of conduct for doing business. Unlike public meetings, the Office of the Clerk-Recorder is not a public forum. There is an expectation that all visitors treat others, including our staff, with respect and decorum.

We apologize to our constituents for any inconvenience that this temporary closure has caused and look forward to welcoming you all in person soon.

 

 


Support Local Journalism

 

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Comments

0 Comments
Loading comments...