California: “Shasta supervisors pursue hand count election plan, details remain unclear”

Jefferson Public Radio:

After ditching Dominion Voting Systems in January, Shasta County still doesn’t have a clear way to conduct elections. The county’s Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to try hand counting every ballot.

Shasta County supervisors moved forward with an unprecedented plan to hand-count every ballot in future elections. No other county in California counts all ballots by hand.

During the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, County Clerk Cathy Darling Allen pleaded with supervisors to choose one of three certified voting systems in California to avoid running afoul of state and federal laws.

“You can hear the irritation in my voice,” she said. “But I have spent the last two-and-a-half years defending a process that is not broken.”

On Monday, Darling Allen sent a letter outlining the urgency that county supervisors choose a certified voting system to be prepared for upcoming elections.

Darling Allen estimated the board would need to provide around $1.6 million and 1,200-1,300 new staff members if they wanted to count the results of the entire election by hand.

“While my office is full of extremely competent and prepared professionals, even we cannot perform miracles,” she said.

The estimated cost Darling Allen provided is just to hire the temporary staff. She said that doesn’t include post-election audits and rental of a facility large enough to accommodate the ballot-counting teams.

In January, Shasta County supervisors voted 3-2 to cancel their contract with Dominion Voting Systems, amidst unproven claims that the machines were used to switch votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

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