In MAGA-Led Shasta County, Election Apprehension Reigns as Voters Find Their Votes Wary
A view of a polling booth from the front of the Redwood City Library. Photo: Matthew Staver
For voters of all ages in rural Shasta County, the election seemed to be a very long way off: the time for candidates to pay their respects, for photos with campaign volunteers, for the media and for voters to cast their votes.
But as election day began in February, it was clear to many that some kind of reckoning awaited them, and Shasta County election officials were not shy about warning their constituents that the results of the race they live for would be difficult to predict.
“We definitely expected a very close election in 2018,” Shasta County Elections Manager Scott DeMarti told the Times-Call. “When we went into the general election, it was a time when we knew that the outcome would be an unpredictable kind of race.”
In 2018, election turnout was lower than in previous years, with fewer people voting in the primary and general elections combined.
In 2018, only 38.23 percent voted in the primary. In 2016, 44.87 percent voted.
By contrast, turnout in the general election was 41.17 percent, the lowest of all local races in 2016.
The race Shasta County voters chose was competitive, and the outcome of the election was determined in part by the low turnout in the primary for every race, according to DeMarti.
But the candidates’ campaigns were able to capitalize on their low turnout in the primary, according to DeMarti.
For the primary election, DeMarti did not expect to see a winner for Congress in 2018.
“There was a lot of hope and energy in the beginning, but not enough of a margin,” DeMarti said. “When we looked at the final margins, it was an extremely close race.”
But voters did not forget that the election was coming, and there could be more opportunities for voters to cast their ballots at the polls in the November midterm election.
‘”It’s a little scary,” said