Since You Asked: Will Sutter clerk step back from counting ballots?
Q: Will Sutter County Clerk Donna M. Johnston recuse herself from vote counting because her husband is a candidate for judge?
A: First, the county clerk doesn't actually count votes herself; there's a complex network of computers for that.
But Johnston will be stepping back from poll-checking duties on Election Day to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
"I won't be touching any ballots," Johnston said in an interview late last week.
Johnston's husband, Michael, is one of nine candidates vying to replace retiring Judge H. Ted Hansen on the bench of the Sutter County Superior Court.
"Usually, I do check in at the all the polling precincts, but since my husband is a candidate, I'll just be staying at the (Elections Office), giving tours of the office to campaigns and the grand jury," Johnston said.
It's the same basic procedure she used during her own re-election in 2010, when she scored a landslide victory over her opponent by garnering more than 82 percent of the vote, according to Appeal-Democrat archives.
Johnston was appointed to the Sutter County clerk's post in 2008 to finish the term vacated by the late Joan Bechtel.
Johnston's staff will monitor the 225 touch-screen voting machines. The "direct-recording electronic voting machines," or DREs, record votes which are then transferred to another computer at the clerk's office for tabulation.
REPORTER'S NOTE: Here's a Since You Asked follow-up from a March 5 answer:
A $1 million repaving project at Third and J streets in Marysville is on pace to be completed by the end of the month, city officials said last week.
Initially ready to be started last August, the postponed project began a week late because of showers in early April and has been frequently delayed by weather, according to Dave Lamon, Marysville city services director.
"PG&E still needs to lower a gas line there, but otherwise we're shooting to be done by the end of May," Lamon said.
All of the $1 million in funding comes from federal stimulus money.
Since You Asked is published on Mondays. Send questions to reporter Rob Parsons at the Appeal-Democrat, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901, email him at email@example.com or call 749-4785.