Nevada County preps for November elections
Special to Sierra Sun
Nevada County voters will soon cast their ballots in the Nov. 3 presidential election, as the country faces an economic recession, pandemic, widespread protests, and whatever else is to unfold in the next four months.
According to Natalie Adona, assistant county clerk-recorder/registrar of voters, the county has been planning for the November election since April, updating its administration plan in light of COVID-19, coordinating with state officials, and creating safeguards with PG&E to ensure elections can continue if there are Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
“We’re all deeply concerned about the impact COVID-19 is going to have on elections and voting,” Adona said. “We’ve already seen our peers in other states struggle with this, so we want to minimize that struggle as much as we can and learn lessons from what’s happened in other places.”
While the framework of election policies are handed down from the state level, Adona described the county’s role in implementing those policies as what creates the “voter experience.”
“We want the voters to have a great voter experience — we want the materials to be understandable, we want people to be able to find the voting location if they choose to vote in person,” she said.
“We also want to do things in a way that is not only accessible to people, but also is secure and is a voting system that people can trust. In the news there’s a lot of talk about election outcomes and the legitimacy of the elections, so security and integrity in the vote count is also a very high priority for us and I don’t see any reason why we can’t have both of those things.”
The state Voter information Guide will be available to the public starting July 21, with state certification of general election candidates finalized Aug. 27.
While the ballots are still in flux, there are a handful of statewide measures that have already qualified.
These include an initiative to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties more than 15 years old; a constitutional amendment making it easier for homeowners over 55 years old to transfer their property tax base to a replacement residence; and a constitutional amendment that would tax commercial and industrial property at market rates to fund public schools, community colleges, and local government services.
More information about the November election and potential measures on the ballot can be found on the Secretary of State website.
John Orona is a reporter for The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun based in Grass Valley. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4229.
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