2020 election guide: What you should know before you vote in Shasta County
Shasta County votes on or before Election Day, Nov. 3.
This year, all registered voters got a mail-in ballot, regardless if they signed up for it. Those registered by Aug. 15 also received one of 107,000 postcards sent out by the Shasta County Elections Office with a picture of the ballot envelope.
As of Thursday morning, the elections office received more than 48,500 ballots, Shasta County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen said. That's about 43% of the more than 111,000 ballots mailed to registered voters, and those issued to people who registered after ballots were mailed out on Oct. 5.
This is also the first election in which voters can scan their own ballots.
The elections office is taking precautions to help voters socially distance and be safe, Darling Allen said. “We’re asking voters to vote early. Our intention is to have as few people as possible in the same place at the same time.”
Here are answers to voters’ questions, a list of races and the candidates running in them.
What's my voter registration status?
Go to the Shasta County Elections office website at https://bit.ly/2Vau28t or call the office at 225-5730 to see if you’re registered to vote. You can also visit the office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1643 Market St. in Redding.
Is it too late to register to vote?
The deadline to register to vote was Oct. 19, but the state allows for conditional registration up until and on Nov. 3. You can also register at your polling place on Election Day.
What if I changed my address?
Contact the elections office as soon as possible to give them your new address. You might also need to request a provisional ballot to vote on Nov. 3.
If you plan to vote in person, you’ll need to know the address of your new polling place. Go to the elections office “Voter Information Lookup” page at https://bit.ly/2Vau28t. Click on the third option, the “Polling Place and Information Guide Lookup.” Type in your address to find out your polling place.
Do I need to sign up for an absentee ballot?
Every voter should have received an official ballot by mail for the November 2020 election.
The elections office mailed ballots by Oct. 5 — at least 29 days before the election.
To request permanent vote-by-mail status, or to cancel your vote-by-mail status, fill out the form at https://bit.ly/39UUnvu, or go to the elections office to get a copy of the form. Drop off the completed form, or mail it to: County Clerk/Elections Department, 1643 Market St., Redding, CA 96001.
How do I make sure I fill out my mail-in ballot correctly?
Read carefully the instructions on your mail-in ballot or see vote by mail instructions at https://bit.ly/33YOo7t.
These instructions explain how to mark, seal and return your ballot.
What if the ink bleeds through my mail-in ballot?
Those bleed-through marks don't affect how votes are counted, Darling Allen said. The ballot reader will not register these marks.
Ballot counting machines only scan the bubbles in vertical columns on a ballot, looking for the ones filled in, she said. If you take a ballot and hold it up to the light you can see these columns. "The marking positions, front-to-back, don't bleed through into a column that matters."
Is it too late to mail my ballot?
Ballots that are mailed in must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3. These must be received by the elections office no later than Nov. 20.
You can also cast your mail-in ballot at any polling place on Election Day, Allen said, or in advance at drop-box locations.
Where are ballot drop off locations near me?
24-hour ballot drop boxes are located here:
- Shasta County Elections Office, 1643 Market St. in Redding
- Redding City Hall, 777 Cypress Ave. in Redding
- Anderson City Hall, 1887 Howard St. in Anderson
- Redding Electric Utility, 3611 Avtech Parkway in Redding
- Shasta County Sheriff Burney Station, 20509 Shasta St. in Burney
- Shasta Lake Visitor Center, 1525 Median Ave. in Shasta Lake
Staffed drop boxes open during daytime hours are located here:
- Holiday Market at 2455 Hartnell Ave. in Redding
- Holiday Market Placer at 3315 Placer St. in Redding
- Holiday Market at 9350 Deschutes Road in Palo Cedro
- Holiday Market at 20635 Gas Point Road in Cottonwood
- Happy Valley Country Market at 5235 Happy Valley Road in Anderson
- My-T-Fine Foods at 21919 Highway 299 in Bella Vista
- Reed’s Market at 7007 Shingle Glen Trail in Shingletown
All drop boxes are closed at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, according to the Shasta County Elections Office website.
How do I scan my ballot myself?
You can scan your own ballot starting Oct. 5 up to Election Day. Go to the elections office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, at 1643 Market St. in Redding. You can also scan your own ballot at your precinct on Election Day.
I lost/damaged/didn’t get my mail-in ballot. What now?
Call the elections office at 225-5730.
Where is my polling place and how do I see a sample ballot for my district?
Go to the elections office "Voter Information Lookup" web page at https://bit.ly/2Vau28t. Click on the second option, the “Polling Place Lookup."
You can also call the elections office at 225-5730 or visit in person at 1643 Market St. in Redding.
Redding's getting ready for Nov. 3:As Election Day nears, here's more to know
When are polling places open?
Polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.
What should I bring to my polling site?
Voters are asked to wear masks when they come to vote, but no voter will be turned away.
Allen, the clerk and registrar of voters, recommends voters bring their completed ballot to the polling place to save time in the voting booth.
If you need a wheelchair-accessible voting booth or need other accommodations, ask the person with whom you check in for help.
You don’t need to show identification to vote, Allen said.
How do I know my vote was counted?
Voters who sent in their mail-in ballot can find out if it arrived at the county elections office at https://bit.ly/2HKrUMO. Click on "Vote-by-Mail Ballot Lookup" and type in your address.
Residents in Shasta County with questions about their provisional ballot can go to https://bit.ly/2HKrUMO and select "Provisional Ballot Lookup."
Redding City Council race:Two seats, six candidates, four new faces
2020 election candidates list, contested races
U.S. President and Vice President
- Donald Trump, Republican
- Joe Biden, Democrat
- Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, American Independent Party of California
- Howie Hawkins Green Party
- Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian Party
- Gloria La Riva, Peace and Freedom Party
U.S. Representative in Congress, 1st District
- Doug LaMalfa, Republican, incumbent
- Audrey Denney, Democrat
State Senator, District 1
- Brian Dahle, Republican, incumbent
- Pamela Swartz, Democrat
State Assembly, District 1
- Megan Dahle, Republican, incumbent
- Elizabeth Betancourt, Democrat
Shasta County Supervisor, District 4
- Steve Morgan, incumbent
- Patrick Jones
Redding City Council
- Julie Winter, incumbent
- Mark Mezzano
- Jack Munns
- Adam McElvain, incumbent
- David Robbins
- Monique Leona Welin
Shasta Lake City Council
- Larry Farr, incumbent
- Jim “O.G.” Mark
- Greg Watkins
- Janice Powell, incumbent
Shasta County Board of Education Trustee Area 1
- Russell Hunt
- Jennifer Snider, appointed incumbent
Shasta College Board of Trustees, Area E
- Stephen Bell
- Rayola Pratt, incumbent
Fall River Joint Unified School District Governing Board Member
- Megan Estes
- Diane Murphy
- Jack Hathaway
- Jeff Cook
Anderson Union High School District Governing Board Member
- “Butch” Schaefer, incumbent
- Tom Giles
- Cindy Trotter-Hogue, incumbent
- Charley Hawkins
Igo-Ono Community Services District
- Charles Tucker, incumbent
- John Paul Moore Jr., appointed incumbent
- Michael Spencer, appointed incumbent
- Alan Tucker
Mayers Memorial Hospital District
- Tom Guyn
- Jerry “Abe” Hathaway, incumbent
- Laura Beyer, incumbent
- Tami Vestal Humphry
Mountain Gate Community Services District
- Karrie Walter
- Donald Kerns
- Katie Mason
- Michael Stierli
- Kay Kobe
- David Selby
For more information on the races and candidates who are in the running, see the Shasta County Elections Office list of qualified candidates at https://bit.ly/3i4Q2JF.
Jessica Skropanic is a features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today. Thank you.