An estimated 13,075 ballots, the vast majority vote-by-mail, have yet to be counted in Shasta County, putting the results of some supervisor races in question. “We are all on pins and needles,” said Cathy Darling-Allen, the county clerk and registrar of voters. The vote-by-mail ballots were dropped off last week at polling stations around the county and the clerk’s office, she said. Poll workers reported around 5,478 absentee ballots turned in at polling places around the county. Others were dropped off at the clerk’s office on election day or were older and had yet to be counted. Shasta County also has 575 uncounted provisional ballots, according to the California Secretary of State’s count of unprocessed ballots Monday afternoon. Darling-Allen said her office had counted around 5,200 mail-in ballots turned in to poll workers so far.
Nowhere is the outcome more uncertain than in District 4, where the difference so far between Cheri Beck, the top vote-getter, and Cherrill Clifford, the fifth-place finisher, is 638 votes. What makes the races suspenseful is that voters can return their ballots to any polling location in the county no matter that it might be outside of the district where they reside. So, potentially someone could live in District 4 and choose to drop their ballot off at a polling place in District 2 because of its proximity to their job.