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Bear Fire evacuees concerned about getting ballots in on time

After the Bear Fire ravaged parts of Butte and Plumas counties, there is one more concern evacuees have this time of year: how will I make sure my vote counts?

Posted: Oct 27, 2020 8:19 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - After the Bear Fire ravaged parts of Butte and Plumas counties, there is one more concern evacuees have this time of year: how will I make sure my vote counts?

"It's just been chaos ever since. Chaos," said Berry Creek resident, Kathy Sheldon.

The Bear Fire tore through Berry Creek, destroying more than a thousand structures and forcing hundreds to evacuate.

"From PG&E shutting off our power to trying to find out what our next steps are to move on, we really don't know. We are sort of up in the air."

For Sheldon, losing her home and address came with a new complication, especially with the election just days away.

"We sat down this morning, filled them out, my husband and I, and didn't really know if it was going to get [counted] in time...so we went over to the office drop box to get it in."

She wasn't the only evacuee wondering if her vote would count.

"I've been to the post office where they are picking up their mail, and they've got tons of mail because they haven't been able to get over here or had something else going on to pick up their mail. If they don't get in there to get it, they are not going to be able to vote."

On top of evacuating, coronavirus is still a concern, which makes Sheldon worry that many won't make voting a priority.

"It's far from their mind right now. So, I'm always telling them 'don't forget, don't forget [to vote]."

Butte County clerk-recorder, Candace Grubbs, tells Action News Now that she wants to make sure evacuees know there are other options to make sure their vote counts.

"Even if they don't have a physical address right now, they can still vote with their previous address but they can go into a voter assistance center which opens on Saturday," Gubbs says.

For more information about where to vote, Click Here.

For continuing coverage on news across Northern California, download the Action News Now app.

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