El Dorado County Holds Special Election to Replace Ousted Supervisor

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EL DORADO COUNTY-

Ballots for the El Dorado Special elections to replace ousted County Supervisor Ray Nutting were due at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

"This place will be a hub of activity come 8:30 p.m. or so," Bill Schultz, El Dorado County Registrar of Voters said.

Six candidates- Claire McNeal, Dave Pratt, Chris Amaral, Shiva Frentzen, Geoge Turnboo and Nutting's wife, Jennifer Nutting - are running for the El Dorado County District Two Board of Supervisor position.

Ray Nutting was ousted from his seat by a judge in June, after he was found guilty of six misdemeanor counts of soliciting illegal loans to make bail. Because of this, the County is now busier than ever.

"The time for preparing for elections goes back four to five months," Schultz said. "So we are been preparing for these elections simultaneously, this one [the special elections] we are conducting, and we are still working on the ballot layout for November fourth."

The county estimates this special election will cost $80,000 to $100,000, which will be taken out of the county's general funds. Many in the county said this was over excessive, just to vote for one person.

"That's more money than I make in a year," resident Larry Pfost said, chuckling.

"For the reason they had Mr. Nutting leave, they really could have just waited and put it up at the regular election," voter Flora Tallman said. "This is kind of unfortunate."

However, there is a reason the county cannot combine the two elections.

"Our charter says we cant integrate it the November elections. Too much time has passed," Schultz said.

The charter says if a person is removed from office, they must be replaced through an election within 90 to 120 days. Nov. 4, 2014 missed it by one month.

But the Registrar said they are working to ensure every vote is counted. 70% of the 22,000 registered voters are mail-in ballots. So they've asked all local Post Masters to hold all ballots on Election Day. The ballot will then be personally picked up by registrar staff. The County registrar has done this for the last three elections.

"Sometimes, we get as many as 300 to 400 ballots that way and it's well worth the effort," Schultz said.

After the 8PM hard deadline, the registrar will electronically begin counting the ballots. Within a few hours, the winner will be announced on the county website. The paperwork for the swearing in process should be submitted within two days, and the new District Two Supervisor will begin his or her post immediately.