County-Clerk Recorder Gregory Diaz had a lot to say about my post below, “County election office stumbles out of the gate,” but he chose to say it on Jeff Pelline’s blog, where he knows he will not be challenged. You can read his comments there.
Diaz left me a voice mail Friday that I didn’t pick up until about 7:30 p.m. and I have to be out of the house early Monday, so I’m posting my response now. Let’s take it from the top.
Diaz says an article I referenced in The Union published last Tuesday contained erroneous information about the upcoming special election because of errors the paper made when it published the Notice of Election, and that I’m blaming the election office because The Union had to correct its own error.
But the Notice of Election doesn’t contain the erroneous information in The Union article I referenced: When ballots will be mailed and when the Gold Miners Inn will be open as a vote center. According to the article, that information came via email from Abby Kelly, acting assistant county clerk-recorder/registrar of voters in Diaz’s office:
That prompted The Union to run this clarification two days later (emphasis mine): “DUE TO INACCURATE INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE UNION, a Tuesday, Jan. 22, story on A3 about the March 26 special election contained errors. Elections officials will issue vote-by-mail ballots no sooner than Feb . 26. The Gold Miners Inn will open as a vote center on election day only.”
I also wrote that ballots-by-mail for the 2016 general election were missing a page listing 9 of 17 state propositions and 3 local measures. “Our staff remember getting a complaint from one person that they were missing page two,” Diaz wrote on Pelline’s blog. “Since only one person complained, we feel perhaps the voter misplaced their original page two. We received one complaint from an elderly voter.”
But that isn’t what his staff told The Union in an article dated Oct. 20, 2016. They said then that 3 people complained and that “the page just didn’t get stuffed in the ballot.”
I also wrote that ballots for the 2016 primary election were delayed because they weren’t properly verified. “We don’t know what that means,” Diaz wrote on Pelline’s blog. I suggest he ask Sandy Sjoberg of this staff for an explanation:
Diaz acknowledges a printing error in 2014 so we won’t go over that again. Then there’s his interpretation of the law governing how many signatures are required to quality a measure for the ballot.
“This issue is still unsettled to this day,” Diaz writes on Pelline’s blog. If that’s the case, why did he reverse his decision? Why was his decision announced in a private letter instead of a press release? Can he cite any cases currently being litigated to resolve this issue, assuming it’s still an issue?
There was no need to interview Diaz because all of the articles cited above were based on information provided by his office. Diaz just wants to rewrite history now.