Category Archives: Benicia elections

Solano County Election begins in September! Here’s your checklist for Election MONTH…

I know there must be a few of you out there like me. I never voted by mail before!

Roger Straw, The Benicia Independent

This year, most everyone will be voting by mail.  With all the talk about Trump trying to hobble the Post Office, I got to thinking we should be ready to vote by mail, AND… ready do it early!

So here’s our election calendar.

Your ballot will arrive by mail in late September.

Below is all you need to know, directly from the Solano County Registrar of Voters page, including an excellent 3-minute video and lots of detailed information to follow.

Voting Options and Information for November 3, 2020

In an effort to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus spread, the Solano County Registrar of Voters is preparing several voting options that voters should be aware of.  Please check this site often as information will be updated closer to the election.  Last updated August 1, 2020.

VIDEO: Check out the options you have for voting safely this Election Day

No Contact Voting:
As an option to in-person voting, all voters can vote without contact with our staff or office.

All voters will be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3, 2020 election.  Ballots will be automatically mailed at the end of September, and voters have the following options to return ballots:

  Ballot Drop-Off:
Starting October 5 (29 days) – 14 Drop-Off locations are available – click for location and hours (drop box is inside an office building).
 Curbside Drop Off Curbside Drop-Off:
Starting October 29 (5 days) – 8 Curbside drop-off locations are available [NOTE: in nearby cities, but NONE IN BENICIA]click for locations and hours. (stay in your car, hand ballot to pollworkers)
 Vote at Polls Election Day Drop-Off:
Election Day November 3 (1 day) – 100 poll place drop-off locations are available – click for locations – all locations are 7am to 8pm.

Your ballot packet will provide all the options for returning your vote by mail ballot.  All postage is paid by the Registrar of Voters Office for voters mailing ballots back to our office.  Voters do not have to vote this ballot, and can still choose to vote in-person using one of the options listed below.  Other alternatives include:

Alternatively voters can Download a Ballot (Available Late-September)- print your ballot at home, and mail it, fax it, or drop it off at a drop-off location. This service is available to any voter without a special request and can be used up to and including on election day provided the ballot is returned to us post-marked by election day.
If you change your mind, you can still vote at your assigned polling place on Election Day.

Limited Contact Voting:

 Curbside Voting  At your assigned poll place, all voters can request to vote “Curb-Side” from the comfort of your vehicle. Look for the blue cone outside of your polling place, and call the number listed on the cone. Pollworkers will come out to your car with your ballot and will securely deposit it for you.
This same curb-side option is available if you want to drop off your vote by mail ballot. It may be preferable for you to remain in your vehicle and we support that option.

In-Person Voting:

 Vote at the polls Traditional poll place voting will be available in November.  Your assigned location will be provided in the mail towards the end of September.  Depending on health issues, the number of locations may need to be reduced in November, which may cause for additional time to vote.

COVID-19 INFO:
Pollworkers and Staff:
All poll workers will be required to wear masks and shields, additionally the Registrar of Voters will provide gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.  Pollworkers will be trained on the proper use of this equipment and how to follow the procedures outlined for each workspace.

Voters:
Voters will be required to wear face coverings per the state law requiring such in public places.  Face coverings will be provided to any voter needing one.  Hand Sanitizer and disposable pens will be provided to all voters as well.   Voters without face coverings will be encouraged to vote from the safety of their vehicles, or when the pollworkers can clear the area for the safety of other voters.
We encourage all citizens to follow the mandated health requirements to help protect our staff and community partners. Without our staff and volunteers we cannot successfully execute an election!   Please help us minimize the risk to those helping to administer your voting rights!

All Election and voter services are available by phone or online:

707-784-6675; or elections@solanocounty.com
To visit us in-person, please: Request an appointment

Solano County election results – Monica Brown wins District 2 Supervisor race

By Roger Straw, March 4, 2020

Benicia precinct results not yet available

Monica Brown receives just over 51% of votes – wins re-election outright with no runoff in November

For detailed voting results on our local elections, the best and official source is our Solano County Registrar of Voters website.  See especially the March 3 Primary Election Results page.

An example from that page – Monica Brown currently has 51.04% of the vote for Solano County Supervisor District 2.  This percentage will hold, given that there are only 997 outstanding ballots to be processed as of today.  Monica wins with no runoff in November.

Choice Vote by Mail Election Day Voting Total
MONICA BROWN 5,653 50.08% 3,145 52.86% 8,798 51.04%
ROCHELLE SHERLOCK 3,108 27.53% 1,276 21.45% 4,384 25.43%
K. PATRICE WILLIAMS 2,527 22.39% 1,529 25.70% 4,056 23.53%
Cast Votes: 11,288 100.00% 5,950 100.00% 17,238 100.00%

Check back on the March 3 Primary Election Results page for updates each day as outstanding ballots are added to the totals.  Unless it is a close race, these updates are usually inconsequential.

For regular updates on the number of ballots still outstanding, see 2020 03 – Presidential Primary Election.

Eventually, the Registrar of Voters will post individual Precinct Results.  A link to those results should be posted on the  Historic Election Results and Files page if not on the March 3 results page.

FIRST LOOK: Valero PAC report shows $248,111 on hand to influence Benicia’s 2020 election

Link to Valero’s Campaign Finance Report below…

Valero Benicia Refinery, emissions on Mar 23, 2019, 2.21pm [Photo: MBardet]
By Roger Straw, February 8, 2020

Valero and it’s labor force will once again have more money to spend than any of the candidates running for office in Benicia this year.  Most likely more than all candidates combined.

On November 20, 2019 Valero added $200,000 to a carry-over balance of $48,161.54.  The balance remained after the PAC’s huge expenditures in the 2018 race in which they smeared and spread misinformation, successfully defeating City Council candidate Kari Birdseye.

Here is the so-called “Working Families” PAC’s contributions and expenditures report for 7/1/19 to 12/31/19:
Working_Families_for_a_strong_Benicia_PAC_2020_Semi_Annual__Form_460_1.pdf

Future (and past) campaign finance reports for the Valero PAC and for all candidates can be found on the City of Benicia’s ELECTIONS page.

Valero set aside $200,000 in November 2019 to influence Benicia’s 2020 election

Here we go again – Valero, refinery labor unions and big outside money plan to take over our Benicia elections like they did in 2018.  We (or they) will elect a Mayor and two City Council members.  Will it be another dirty smear campaign?  – R.S.

Benicia committee receives $200,000 from Valero

Vallejo Times-Herald, by John Glidden, February 7, 2020

BENICIA — While many of the active political campaigns in town were quiet during the second half of 2019, a special general purpose recipient committee received $200,000 in cash from the Valero Benicia Refinery, according to contribution forms submitted to the Benicia City Clerk’s Office.

The committee, Working Families for a Strong Benicia, a Coalition of Labor, Industrial Services Companies, received the donation on Nov. 20. It reported a cash balance of $248,111 at the end of the year.

The committee was active during the Benicia City Council elections in 2018, raising thousands of dollars from Valero, unions, and businesses. The committee actively supported Vice Mayor Christina Strawbridge and Councilmember Lionel Largaespada, while opposing unsuccessful council candidate Kari Birdseye.

All open campaign committee were required to submit reports on Jan. 31, 2020 for the period covering July 1 through Dec. 31, 2019.

Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson reported having a cash balance of $1,277 at the end of 2019, while Strawbridge reported a zero balance after paying herself back $1,500 of a $4,000 loan she gave her committee. She forgave the rest.

Largaespada said he had a $95 balance as councilmembers Tom Campbell and Steve Young reported no action.

The Progressive Democrats of Benicia picked up $180 from Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown. The club reported a cash balance of $1,196 on Dec. 31.

Finally, the Benicia Police Officers’ Association reported no action during the same time period. It ended the year with $4,581 in cash.