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Local News

Voters to receive ballots in early May

A sample ballot for the primary election on June 7, 2022, reading "Sample Ballot & Voter Information Pamphlet."
A sample ballot for the upcoming primary election.

While many incumbents are running unopposed, a lively election is shaping up in the fifth district, with a supervisorial challenger and a bond measure.

April 13, 2022 — Ballots for the primary election will be mailed out to voters at the end of this month, and sample ballots are now available at the Mendocino County elections page. The election will be especially lively in the fifth district, where Supervisor Ted Williams is facing challenger John Redding, and a bond measure for the Anderson Valley School District will be decided.

Third District Supervisor John Haschak has an opponent in Clay Romero, and Michelle Hutchins, the current Superintendent of Schools, is squaring off against Nicole Glentzer.

But many incumbents are facing no opposition, including Sheriff Matt Kendall, District Attorney David Eyster, Assessor-Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie, and four superior court judges, Ann Moorman, Keith Faulder, Victoria Shanahan, and Cindee Mayfield, all guaranteed six-year terms. Chamise Cubbison is running unopposed for the newly created office of Auditor-controller/Treasurer-tax collector.

At a League of Women voters Q&A last night, Bartolomie said that voters can cast ballots at polling places, where they can also sign up for same-day registration, and they can also drop their ballots in drop boxes outside the county building at 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah, or at the civic center buildings in Ukiah, Willits, Fort Bragg, and Point Arena. There is also a dropbox at the county fairgrounds in Boonville, which is available during office hours.

The only ballot measure is Measure M, a proposed $13 million obligation bond for the Anderson Valley School District. The interest cost on the bond is expected to be $9 million. Louise Simson, the Anderson Valley Superintendent, told attendees that the measure requires 55% of the vote to pass. The tax would be $60 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

Simson said she has raw sewage coming up onto the playground, leaking roofs, and classrooms with no running water for children to wash their hands. There is still $7 million available from a previous bond called Measure A, but it won’t be available until 2039.

Measure M would be a 30-year obligation, but Simson expects that construction could get started fairly quickly. “With the interest rate environment changing, it would probably be a two-series bond,” she said, with the first series most likely coming available in the first year, and significant construction within three years. Property values in Anderson Valley are low, she noted, because of low turnover, but gentrification could add to the taxable property values.

Simson is also tapping other sources of state and federal funding, including $40,000 in hardship money for gym heaters. She said she is also eligible for $600,000 for other projects, and she got some covid money to replace air conditioners at the high school. She’ll be offering tours of the campuses in May.

Bartolomie laid out the rules for electioneering, observing, and exit polls on the actual day of the election, should people choose to show up at a physical location.

Observers can watch the proceedings and ask questions of Bartolomie and the inspectors or judges, but not other poll workers. “They have to sign in, they have a little badge they have to wear, and then they have to sign out when they’re done,” she said.

Electioneering, which includes wearing buttons or items of clothing urging voters to make up their minds one way or the other, is forbidden within 100 feet of a polling place. “Up in Willits Community Center, we had someone park a campaign van across the street,” she recalled. “So we had to get out and we had to measure, and they had to move it up the street a little bit. As long as it’s not within 100 feet, they’re okay.”

Exit polls after the ballot has been cast are allowed, and voters can always decline to participate. “They just can’t talk to them inside the polling place, asking them how they’re going to vote, or what they’re going to vote for. But that can happen outside,” she specified. “Sometimes the media will come, and they’ll say you know, you voted, do you mind sharing your voting experience…You don’t have to answer, you can say, I’d rather not participate, and you can go on about your business.”

Local News
Sarah Reith is the lead reporter for KZYX News. She joined the KZYX News team in 2017, and covers local politics, water, law enforcement and the arts in Mendocino County.