Low turnout: Quiet primary at Truckee-Tahoe polling stations
It was a slow day for in-person voting at several polling stations in Truckee and Lake Tahoe, but many of those who did turn out cited local ballot measures as a key issue and top reason for casting a vote in Tuesday’s primary.
While most of the area’s voters were concerned with major races like that for governor or local measures, Truckee’s Jonathan Miller said his primary reason for voting this year was to introduce his son, a first-time voter, to the democratic process.
“Honestly, to get him in the habit of voting,” said Miller on his reason to vote in the primary. “To show him it’s important.”
Voters in Truckee, as of recent vote counts, appear to have passed Measure U. The sales tax initiative is estimated to generate roughly $3 million annually and would be a dedicated source of funding for building and maintaining the area’s trails. Measure U replaces Measure R’s quarter-cent sales tax with a half-cent sales tax. The tax will remain in effect until repealed by Truckee voters.
The measure needs to be approved by two-thirds of voters. There are currently 1,439 votes in favor and 444 against, or 76.4% to 23.6%
The vote count is unofficial and incomplete.
“I really liked the idea of Measure U and saying ‘yes’ to that,” said Truckee voter Sarah Hockensmith. “Most of us that live in Truckee, we like recreating around here, so we might as well maintain what we have.”
North Tahoe voters faced a choice on Measure A — whether to renew a 2% local transient occupancy tax, which is estimated to generate roughly $4 million annually. Currently, Placer County collects a base level transient occupancy tax of 8%. The additional 2% sales tax was approved by 86.75% of North Tahoe voters, renewing the existing transient occupancy tax until ended by voters in the area.
A total of 766 North Tahoe voters were in favor of renewing the transient occupancy tax, while 117 were apposed. Funds generated by the tax will be directed toward addressing workforce housing needs; reducing traffic congestion; trash and litter removal in public places; maintaining public beaches, parks, trail, shoreline and recreation areas; and other general services.
Officials at several local polling locations said it was a slow-to-average year for a primary election, as the majority of voters cast ballots by mail.
Nevada County Clerk-Recorder Gregory Diaz said Tuesday that voter turnout was low. As of 10:30 am. Tuesday, Diaz said about 16,000 of the ballots sent out to some 75,000 voters had been returned.
“It’s been very surprising in a lot of ways,” said Diaz. “I am surprised the turnout is so low. I have no idea why.”
Turnout is currently 23.32% in Nevada County, and 14.29% in Placer County. Many ballots remain in the mail. Tabulations are expected to continue for days.
The polling location at Truckee Donner Public Utility District had a total of 47 in-person voters as of 4 p.m. Tuesday. Officials at the North Tahoe Event Center said they’d seen a “steady trickle” of voters during the day. The site reported 75 in-person voters as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vote tally is incomplete and unofficial.
Yes: 1,439 — 76.42%
No: 444 — 23.58%
Yes: 766 — 86.75%
No: 117 — 13.25%
Clerk-recorder/registrar of voters
Natalie Adona: 11,111 — 69.81%
Paul Gilbert: 1,290 — 8.11%
Jason Tedder: 3,515 — 22.08%
Rob Tribble: 8,105 — 54.96%
Gina Will: 6,641 — 45.04%
Gerald Bushore: 4,190 — 28.36%
Rolf Kleinhans: 10,584 — 71.64%
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: Moderator Trusted User