Oroville Mercury-Register

Lack of BMU site cost Democrats votes


Great article by Riley Blake getting the local Democratic Party take on our Butte County recall election results.

James Aram, Chair of the Butte County Democratic Party, shared his feelings on the divide in the nation and in this county and the need for more unity of purpose, noting that here the recall narrowly won. Riley reported that the Republican chair did not return his calls.

Yes, there was a more or less 50/50 split of the vote in Butte County, but what did not come out in the article is that the lack of the campus BMU as a Voter Assistance Center, lost Democrats thousands of student votes … likely enough to have swung the county for Newsom. I and other volunteers, as well as the CSU Democratic Club, spent time on campus handing out directions to the nearest Voter Assistance Center (over a mile away) to students who needed to register and vote at their new address. I understand that the County Clerk wanted the usual Assistance Center at BMU, but this was denied until too late, by the university due to Covid concerns.

Hopefully by next year, under the leadership of Democrats, the Covid epidemic will be alleviated such that the BMU can be used again. Impaired voting access equals voter suppressio­n and should not be tolerated.

Thankfully Democrats in California came out in such numbers that Gavin won by two to one margins statewide. Thank you to all who voted NO.

— Bill Monroe, Chico

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