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Mail in voters down by half in Shasta County

By Rachael Witter
Published On: Jun 03 2014 09:57:52 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

Shasta County voter turnout will likely be lower than years past. Of the 61,000 mail in ballots sent out, only 14 percent were received by the county clerk, compared to 30 percent in 2010.

Shasta County Clerk Cathy Darling Allen said interest is low in many of the races. “We’re probably expecting lower than we have in the past for this primary election, I think part of that has to do with the fact that none of the local county offices have opposition and so I think there’s less interest for that reason.”

She said some races may generate more interest and voter turnout. The hotly contested District 5 supervisor race has three candidates: Incumbent Les Baugh, Butch Scaefer and Rodney Jones, all former Anderson City Council members. The three candidates all have different priorities on Shasta County issues. Baugh is in favor of adding 10 new deputies and adding more beds to the jail. Schaefer wants lower building fees to make Shasta County more business-friendly. Jones would like to see vacant mills used for processing hemp.

The tax measure in the City of Anderson could also bring in voters to the primaries. If approved, Tax Measure A would increase sales tax one-half cent to help support police and parks and recreation programs. The intention is to prevent large cuts in city services.
Voters in Happy Valley are deciding whether the Happy Valley Union School District will get a new gym, restrooms and other improvements to the school. The bond is nearly $2.5 million dollars.

The Shasta County Clerk said as of Tuesday morning, the office had received 14-thousand mail-in ballots.