The final unofficial results are in and Plumas County voters have said “no” to two local tax measures.
They said it quickly as well — Plumas was the first county to report its election results to the state Nov. 6.
“We were locking the doors at 9:55,” said Kathy Williams, the county’s chief elections official.
The following day her staff counted the provisional and the vote-by-mail ballots that had been dropped off at polling locations. The final unofficial results were posted Thursday morning, Nov. 8.
Measure C, the temporary increase to the county’s transient occupancy tax, was defeated by a margin of 59.21 percent to 40.79 percent.
Measure D, a temporary increase to the local sales tax, went down by a greater margin: 64.06 percent to 35.94 percent.
Portola voters selected three City Council members from a field of four. Newcomer Michelle Gault unseated long-time incumbent William Weaver.
John Larrieu garnered the most votes, 407, with Phil Oels close behind at 401. Gault earned 400 and Weaver received 303 votes.
Voters in the Almanor Basin chose Bill Howe and David Slusher Jr. as their representatives on the Seneca Healthcare District board of directors, with 1,383 and 1,035 votes respectively. Ronald Longacre received 819 votes and didn’t earn a seat on the board.
Plumas voters joined their counterparts in deciding other Northern California races by voting for Doug LaMalfa to be their next congressman, Brian Dahle to be their next assemblyman and Ted Gaines to remain their state senator.
And though Barack Obama will still be president, and Dianne Feinstein will remain a U.S. senator, those officials did not prevail in Plumas County, where they polled 39.94 percent and 42.18 percent respectively.
When it came to the state propositions, the Plumas electorate voted against Proposition 30 (taxes to fund education) 59.51 percent to 40.85 percent, but the measure passed statewide.
Local voters also differed from their counterparts across the state on Proposition 32 (political contributions) and Proposition 39 (tax treatment for multi-state businesses). Proposition 32 did not pass statewide, but Proposition 39 did.
“We had a 70 percent turnout,” Williams said, “which is pretty consistent in Plumas County. People like to vote here.”
According to the secretary of state’s office, the statewide turnout was 52.4 percent. In neighboring Sierra County, 78.3 percent of voters went to the polls, while 65.2 percent turned out in Lassen.
Williams said that her office was busy in the days and weeks leading up to the election. “A lot of people came in asking for ballot pamphlets,” Williams said. “People seemed to be really prepared for this election.”
But they weren’t always prepared to get their ballots in the mail. Williams said that more people are dropping off their vote-by-mail ballots at polling places on Election Day, rather than mailing them in sooner.
“That delays our results,” Williams said, explaining that those ballots aren’t counted until the day after the election. This could make a difference in hotly contested races, where it would be too close to call on election night.
As for election night itself, Williams said it’s different than it used to be.
“In the old days, the courthouse was bustling,” Williams said. Candidates and their supporters would gather in the lobby and wait for election personnel to post results as precincts delivered their ballots. Now, most people can check the election results online.
Williams said that her office is now working on Measure A, sponsored by the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department. Property owners in the fire district will be asked to pay $98.50 annually to support the department in a vote-by-mail election scheduled for April.
The next countywide event is scheduled for November 2014, when special districts conduct their elections.
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