As Polls Close, First Batch of Humboldt Election Results Expected Soon

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A physically distanced line of voters wait to cast ballots at a voter assistance center in the Eureka Veterans Memorial Building this afternoon. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • A physically distanced line of voters wait to cast ballots at a voter assistance center in the Eureka Veterans Memorial Building this afternoon.
Some Humboldt County voters spent hours in line at the polls today, while others simply slid their ballots into a host of drop boxes set up around the county. Still others dropped their ballot in the mail weeks ago, contributing to the 47,000 vote-by-mail ballots county Registrar of Voters Kelly Sanders told the Journal yesterday her office already had on hand.

Thanks to efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, this is clearly an election unlike any we have experienced. As such, it's a little hard to know just how the night will play out, how much of the vote will be counted by morning and how much will be parsed over the coming weeks. What we do know is that while much of the attention has been on the race for the presidency, Humboldt County voters had a lot of decisions to make. There were nine local measures, asking voters to weigh in on everything from whether Eureka should adopt a ranked choice voting system to whether Arcata should impose a parcel tax to fund park maintenance. Then there was a supervisorial runoff in the Second District, 14 school board races, more than two dozen candidates vying for seats across four special districts and 38 candidates racing for seats on one of seven city councils.

Voters were reportedly still in line at local voting locations as the clock struck 8 p.m. and polls closed in California tonight, so the first release of results will be delayed a bit until they can all cast their ballots. That said, we expect the first report within the hour and will keep you updated here as the night progresses.

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