With more than 25,000 ballots left to be counted in Mendocino County, the Measure AF campaign released a statement reminding supporters the final vote has not yet been decided.
Measure AF, a voter-proposed initiative also known as the Mendocino Heritage Initiative, would establish a range of cannabis businesses licenses for county residents that mirror state MCRSA licenses, as well as zoning restrictions, an advisory committee, a cannabis tax, and more — instead of the set of regulations currently being developed by county staff. In this election, county voters were also presented with the option to approve Measures AI and AJ, which established a different cannabis business tax.
A press release from November 11 states that the county's last public tally of votes — issued at 2am on Election Night — puts AF at about 35% approval by voters. However, that total includes noly about 12,000 ballots, which is about 24% of the county's total registered voters. With high voter turnout reported in this election, the county has announced there are over 25,000 ballots left to be included in the final vote, more than double the number already included in the tally. The county has 28 days to complete the count following the election.
Here's the full statement from the Yes on AF campaign:
First, we want to thank every Mendocino County resident of who voted Yes on AF, supported our campaign, and stood up to protect small farms and our economic future.
Secondly, AF has not been decided, yet. The votes are still being counted.
As of 2am on Election Night the Mendocino County Assessor clerk reported Mendocino County voting stats were:
12,032 ballots counted, which equals 23.58% of registered voters. There has been no update to the count since that time.
What is not included in the above numbers:
- Vote by mail ballots that were mailed in by November 8, that have not yet been received or counted.
- Vote by mail ballots that were turned in at the polling places on Election Day.
- Provisional ballots cast at the polling station on Election Day.
So far, AF currently has 35% voting yes. We do not know how many uncounted ballots remain, but Ranochak predicts 70-80% voter turnout in a presidential election, so there could be several thousand uncounted votes.
Given that these early votes include some of AF's strongest oppositional demographics, and that the huge number of yet to be counted mail-in ballots represent much of our rural support base, we can say with confidence that Measure AF can still win. Several media outlets, and even one of our electeds - 3rd district supervisor John McCowen - have stated inaccurately that Measure AF has lost, discounting a huge percentage of our potential voter base. This is not yet final.
We have posted a link on our website and Facebook page, where absentee voters can check on the status of their ballots and make sure it was received by the County. We also ask that volunteers interested in participating as voter observers at the County Clerk Assessors office contact us by email at mendocinoheritageinitiative
With the passage of Prop 64 and the shocking outcome of the presidential race, we have more questions than answers about the future of cannabis. One thing is certain: we all need to pay attention and remain involved, whether AF passes or not. This is the beginning and this campaign has started a crucial conversation about the future of cannabis regulation in Mendocino County. We are committed continued participation in the political process and help move our county forward. Election updates and information about how to get involved at yesonaf.com.