Registrar Says Manual Vote Tally Will Be Ready For November Special Election

A special election is set for November and Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling-Allen has a plan that will meet the Board of Supervisors requirement of a manual tally. Voters are invited to attend an open house for a demonstration of the new system in a mock election next Thursday October 5th from 1PM to 6PM at the Elections Office at Market and Placer. It took elections staff more than 3,725 hours to hammer together the plan. The cost is far below initial estimates, with the guess for next year’s primary at around $659,000 and 375 extra staff. The General Election next Fall is expected to be twice that much. Darling-Allen says the reduction in cost estimate is a testimony to the skills of her staff. Recruiting an extra 375 workers who are qualified and reliable may be a challenge, and they must by law be paid. According to the California Secretary of State guidelines, if the county can’t find 70% of the necessary staff by 45 days before the Spring Primary, they’ll have to revert to an automatic tally with machines. Even if everything comes together, Darling-Allen points out that unexpected situations are always likely to result from any extremely complex process involving humans. Of course if the Governor doesn’t veto AV969 by mid-October, manual tallies will be forbidden for any election involving more than a Thousand voters, and all that county staff time will be for naught. Meanwhile, some board members want to hire lawyers and sue the state to get local control.