The Lassen County Clerk/ Registrar of Voters announces an error on the Nov. 3 Presidential General Election ballot for the State Assembly District 1 race.
In the District 1 Assembly race between Republican Megan Dahle and Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt, the Lassen County ballot incorrectly lists Betancourt’s occupation as “senator.”
“I apologize for the error and any confusion this may have caused. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the election office at 251-8217,” read the notice from Julie Bustamante, Lassen County Clerk/ Registrar of Voters, posted on the election webpage.
Dahle is an Assemblywoman, farmer and businesswoman. Betancourt is a farmer and watershed scientist.
Lassen County voters will receive a postcard notice noting the correction to the ballot.
According to the notice from Bustamante, the public notification and corrective measures being taken include:
- The candidates in the affected race have been notified;
- Local news media is being briefed on the issue.;
- A postcard notice showing the correction is being sent to Lassen County voters;
- Notices will be posted in all Voting Assistance locations informing voters of the error; and
- Notice has been posted to the Election webpage.
This is the second ballot error this year in Lassen County — the first being a mislabeled party in the March 3 Presidential Primary Ballot for the State Assembly District 1 race. In the election materials, State Assembly District 1 candidate PK “Paul” Dhanuka, a Redding, California doctor, was listed as a Democrat when he should have been designated as No Party Preference.
Local Republican and Democrat committees both expressed frustration over the most recent ballot error.
“Once again, our ballots are not being proofread and voters are receiving erroneous candidate information thanks to the Lassen County Clerk Julie Bustamante, the second time this year,” wrote Joseph Turner, chair of the Lassen County Republican Central Committee, in a Facebook post. ‘Senator’ Betancourt will undoubtedly receive inaccurate votes since ballot information does sway a portion of voters, probably in her favor but inaccurate nonetheless.”
Lassen Democrat Chair Jacob Hibbitts wrote about the error in a email: “Even though a simple mistake, our 2020 Lassen County General Election ballots identify Democratic Assembly candidate, Elizabeth Betancourt not only as a watershed scientist, but as an apparent senator. The later is completely false and has the potential to unjustifiably alter the votes of this important election … Regardless of who may benefit from this inaccuracy, be they Democrat or Republican, the voters lose. They lose the opportunity to make an informed decision, and they lose their trust in the election process.”
Lassennews.com asked both Dahle and Betancourt for a statement on the error, but they have not yet responded to our request .