Referendum on Diaz as election officer starts this week

This week could go a long way toward cementing or sinking the reelection hopes of county Clerk/Recorder Gregory Diaz, who is facing two opponents in the June election.

Nevada County is one of the few counties test driving the state’s new vote-by-mail system, and the test will begin this week with the mailing of ballots to all registered voters in the county and the opening of voting centers for those who don’t want to mail back their ballots or prefer to vote in person.

Gregory Diaz

Diaz is basing his reelection campaign on his professional expertise–he’s been clerk/recorder since 2007–so the smoothness with which the new voting process proceeds will be a referendum on his competence.

His two opponents–Mary Anne Davis, events manager at The Union newspaper (where I’m a freelance columnist), and Elise Strickler, an analyst in the county CEO’s office–have no experience in the field. (Strickler worked in Diaz’s office for four years in another capacity.)

Diaz likes to tout his expertise when it comes to running elections, but his track record in Nevada County does not instill confidence that everything will go smoothly.

Ballots sent to vote-by-mail voters for the 2016 general election were missing a page listing nine of 17 state propositions and three local measures. “The page just didn’t get stuffed in the ballot by the printer,” an election office employee explained.

Managing outside vendors has been a recurring problem for Diaz’s office. Ballots in 2016 (late getting verified) and 2014 (printing error) were delayed because of screw ups that weren’t caught by his office. Then there’s his interpretation of election law, something he’s supposed to know.

Americans for Safe Access Nevada County launched a drive in 2014 to quality a medical marijuana initiative for the ballot. State law required the promoters to obtain valid signatures of 20 percent of county residents who voted in the most recent governor’s election.

In this case, that was 2010, when 45,657 votes were cast in the county for governor. That meant the promoters needed to obtain a minimum of 9,131 valid signatures to get the initiative on the ballot.

But Diaz came up with another number, claiming they needed to obtain 9,928 signatures, 20 percent of all voters even if they didn’t cast a vote in the governor’s race. Diaz was the only clerk/recorder in the state to come up with that novel interpretation. He eventually reversed himself.

WHERE’S WALDO? Is Diaz actually running a reelection campaign? If you Google “Gregory Diaz for county clerk/recorder” you get…nothing. No campaign web site, no Facebook page. Davis has both and Strickler has a Facebook page.

Maybe he’s trying to emulate former county Clerk/Recorder Kathleen Smith, who spent no money on advertising and did practically no campaigning when she ran for the office in 2006. The Union endorsed Diaz, but Smith won anyway.

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This entry was posted in County Clerk/Recorder Gregory Diaz, Elise Strickler, Government, Mary Anne Davis, Politics, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Referendum on Diaz as election officer starts this week

  1. Barry Pruett says:

    Because when I search for a politician inline I search “trust” and the politician’s name. That will for sure get me to the politicam’s website. Note sarcasm. 😂

  2. It turns out Diaz has a campaign web site, and you can find if it ever occurs to you to Google “trust” and “Greg Diaz.” So Intuitive! Here’s a tip: A campaign web site is useless if it’s hard to find.

    What strikes me about the web site is that Diaz lists zero endorsements. What does that say about his tenure in office?

  3. Here we go again. The Union is reporting today that almost 9,800 registered voters failed to receive information on Measure D, the Grass Valley school bond measure, from Diaz’s office. Meanwhile, attorney Barry Pruett, who lost to Diaz in the 2010 election, reports that four ballots have been sent to his Penn Valley home–two for him and wife, two for previous occupants of the house. Apparently the voter rolls aren’t current.

    Diaz’s argument that he should be reelected because he’s the most experienced candidate is wearing thin. Experience isn’t worth much when you keep making the same errors over and over.

  4. Opp, he did it again. Now it turns out two names were left off the argument supporting Measure E, the Grass Valley sales tax measure, in the voters guide.

    You will note that Diaz, a stand-up guy when it comes to touting his own experience, is nowhere to be found when it comes to explaining another screw-up by his office. That’s always left to Sandy Sjoberg, who issued the following email: “We deeply regret this oversight and hope it has not been an inconvenience.”

    Given the number of apologies they’ve issued since Diaz took office, they might as well use it as their motto.

  5. When doesn’t Podunk Pelline use his blog to comment on the voting records of Diaz’s opponents because, you know, he gave money to the candidate and has a conflict of interest? When Jeffie says so.

    If you don’t believe me, just go to his blog and read a copy of the letter he sent to local media moguls asking why they’re not reporting on the voting records of Mary Anne Davis and Elise Strickler. Just to make sure they don’t miss the news value of his suggestion, he recounts the voting records of Davis, Strickler and Diaz. This is followed by several comments about his non-blog item.

    See, nothing to read here!

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