Shasta County election to recall Supervisor Moty: Everything you need to know

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A sign on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, points voters from District 2 in the direction of the Shasta County Elections Department, where early voting is taking place in the recall election of Supervisor Leonard Moty.

Early in-person voting started Jan. 3 in Shasta County for District 2 voters who will decide whether their supervisor, Leonard Moty, should be replaced.

The special election is Feb. 1.

Voter information guides went out by U.S. mail, according to Shasta County Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen. A new California law mandates that all voters be mailed a ballot for every election.

Why is there an effort to recall Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty?

Recall backers claimed that three of the five supervisors — District 2’s Leonard Moty, District 3’s Mary Rickert and District 1’s Joe Chimenti — had failed to do enough to reject California’s COVID-19 restrictions that were intended to prevent the spread of the contagious disease. Proponents of the recall also said they believe the county engaged in wasteful spending during the pandemic.

Recall proponents failed to collect enough signatures to put Rickert and Chimenti on the recall ballot. Enough signatures were collected to activate a recall election against Moty.

What determines if the recall passes?

Moty would be removed if more than 50% of people who vote in the special election vote in favor of the recall.

Who wants to replace Moty?

In addition to asking voters if Moty should be recalled, the ballot will ask voters who should replace Moty. Four candidates are running for the seat:

  • Tim Garman, board president of the Happy Valley Unified School District.

  • Dale Ball, a construction superintendent who ran against Moty in 2020 and lost.

  • Tony Hayward, a Happy Valley businessman.

  • Tarick Mahmoud, a quality assurance pharmacist.

Whether voters answer “yes” or “no” on the recall question, they can select one of the four replacement candidates. The candidate with the most votes would win if the recall questions is approved by more than 50% of the voters.

When would Moty leave office if he’s recalled? When would a replacement take over?

In addition to being a supervisor, Moty was elected chairman of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 4 by a 3-2 vote.

Should he be recalled, Rickert would preside over the first meeting after the election. The board would then need to elect a new chair for 2022. The next scheduled meeting is Feb. 8.

How does early voting work?

Early voters can cast their ballots at the Elections Department at 1643 Market St. in Redding 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Voter information guides began being delivered via U.S. mail earlier this month, under the new state law mandating that all voters be mailed a ballot for every election. A digital copy of the voter information guide is available online.

Voters also have the option of returning their completed ballots to an official drop box or by mail, or to return their ballot in person to the Elections Department.

Only on Election Day — Feb. 1 — can voters also vote in person at their assigned polling place.

How do I know if I’m eligible to vote?

Only voters who live within the boundaries of Supervisorial District 2 adopted in 2011 are eligible to vote in the recall election.

The new boundaries of all supervisorial districts within the county will be in effect for the election on June 7, 2022. Both versions of the boundary maps can be found here: bit.ly/3FsGELO.

Where is the campaign money coming from?

The group driving the effort to recall the three supervisors is the Shasta General Purpose Committee/Recall Shasta.

A major contributor of that effort is Reverge Anselmo, a controversial former local winery owner who sold his business seven years ago and moved out of Shasta County. He now lives in Connecticut.

In November, Anselmo contributed $400,000 to Shasta General Purpose Committee/Recall Shasta, the group driving an effort to recall three supervisors. Anselmo gave $50,000 to the effort in August.

How much will the election cost the county?

The special election is expected to cost Shasta County about $400,000, according to elections officials.

What else should I know?

Information about candidates, how to cast a recall ballot, drop box locations and polling places is available at the county elections website, ShastaVotes.org.

Michele Chandler covers city government and housing issues for the Redding Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. Follow her on Twitter at @MChandler_RS, call her at 530-225-8344 or email her at michele.chandler@redding.com. Please support our entire newsroom’s commitment to public service journalism by subscribing today.

This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Everything you need to know about Shasta County recall election