NEVADA CITY, CA—Last Thursday afternoon, the Office of the Nevada County Clerk- Recorder/Registrar of Voters made the hard decision to temporarily close its lobby over security concerns relating to a recall petition.

A group of recall proponents, displeased with our office’s efforts to initiate a COVID-19 protocol and enforce a mask mandate, forcibly entered the Clerk-Recorder/Registrar’s office lobby demanding to know the status of their recall effort. They knew that our office was implementing a COVID-19 protocol, were asked to wear masks before entry and refused, and were offered alternative means to obtain our services but refused to take them. Rather than work with us peacefully, three proponents stormed our office, pushed an employee, and claimed that they had a right to appear in our office in person.

To be clear: neither the state nor federal constitutions, nor any county ordinance, give any member of the public unfettered access to our office.

The County’s leadership has a duty to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, free of harassment, intimidation, and threat of violence. As the elected Nevada County Clerk- Recorder/Registrar of Voters, I have a duty to keep our guests and employees safe. Unfortunately, this means that we must close our lobby to in-person services temporarily until our office can safely conduct business.

As a countywide elected officer, the County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters has a duty to serve all of Nevada County’s citizens. The Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters also has the discretion to decide the rules of conduct for doing business. Unlike public meetings, the Office of the Clerk-Recorder is not a public forum. There is an expectation that all visitors treat others, including our staff, with respect and decorum.

We apologize to our constituents for any inconvenience that this temporary closure has caused and look forward to welcoming you all in person soon. If you have an immediate need to use our services, please see the following:

Drop Box in Lobby of Rood Center