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Benjamin Hershberger - Questionnaire

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Who was the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election? (200 words)

The voters decided the 2020 presidential election and the majority of voters elected Joe Biden. The U.S. election process is steeped in laws and procedures that strive for high standards of reliable results. I think this has been proven in the recent Georgia and Arizona audits and in numerous law suits on the 2020 Election. I do have major concerns about non-paper ballot systems as you lose a tangible auditable record as well as a system that uses proprietary and inaccessible computer coding. I've worked with our local Elections Office since 2006 and had been there when the Diebold batch flaw was discovered by the Humboldt Transparency Project. The Transparency Project under stewardship of the election department scans and tally's every ballot cast using their own equipment and compares their results to the Election's results. These images are made available to anyone who wants to do their own review. I believe this project gives the public a greater since of openness to the process.

Nationally, which do you believe is a larger problem: election fraud or voter suppression? (200 words)

Having seen and been a part of the election process, I am less concerned about fraud due to the multiple levels of review and verification (not that there can't be some human error, which I believe is very negligible to total votes). I am more concerned about voter suppression as it is easier for outside sources to manipulate, restrict and oppress using laws and lawsuits to achieve a political advantage often by dishonest and disingenuous means. Some of the methods such as purging the voter rolls are done close to a scheduled election and denying individuals time to appeal or re-enroll with the goal of keeping them from voting. Another method is to restrict voting times and voting areas so that is more difficult for voters to vote with the hope that the voter will give up and not participate.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the recorder's office currently and what are your plans for addressing them? (200 words)

It is important to note that this election is not just about the Record's Office but also includes the Elections Office that must be managed in two separate locations. To address the question of the Recorder's Office, the last few years with COVID had drastically impacted how we serve the public. I think that the current administration has been very forward thinking on addressing the issues such as introducing the Electronic Recording System so documents can be submitted electronically and not in person or by mail. Challenges with these kinds of changes is time and training. In addition, the office has experienced staffing changes. Right now the office needs team building and cross training to meet the needs of the new recording method and customer service.

Now, a brief questionnaire to help voters get to know you a bit better:

Age? 56

City of residence? Eureka

Where did you grow up? McKinleyville, CA

How long have you lived in Humboldt County? 56 years.

Can you please provide a brief education history? I attended K-12 in McKinleyville. During High School I participated in the HSU Upward Bound program. After High School I went to HSU majoring in Business Administration — Accounting with a minor in Computer Information Systems and an emphasis phase in Natural Resources.

Can you please provide a brief work history? I worked 10 years for Stanton's Restaurant as a line cook, three years at Eureka Inn as a cook, and 26 years with Humboldt County.

What is your current occupation? Fiscal Officer for the Humboldt County Clerk/Recorder/Elections offices.

What do you consider the three most important endorsements you have received to date in your campaign? I have not actively pursed endorsements. I would have to say that the most important endorsements come from the number of individuals who have come forward and offered assistance, take and place signs and give encouragement.

Now, a few questions to give voters a taste of your personality:

What is your favorite movie? Something Wicked This Way Comes

What is your favorite book? A Separate Peace

What magazine do you read most regularly? None currently.

If your campaign had a theme song, what would it be? "Aint No Mountain High Enough" recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. While it is obviously a love song, it is more than that: It is about perseverance and achievement. Not letting anything stop you from your goals.

Who is your favorite fictional government employee?  Andy Griffith's Mayberry Sheriff, Andy Taylor.

Who is your favorite real-life government employee? Pete Buttigieg. He composes himself as straight forward and genuine. In his Senate confirmation hearing they praised him for how well he conducted himself.

Dogs or cats? Cats, they are independent.

What is your favorite hobby? I am a computer game player.

What would your superpower be and how would you use it? Healing. Just a touch and it would begin, they wouldn't even have to know or how it started.

If you could sum up your candidacy in a single haiku, what would it be?
Challenges abound
Experience is the key
Success in the end

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