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Janz Casts His Vote, Warns About 'Rejected' Ballots

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Photo of Andrew Janz voting with his daughter
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Give Andrew Janz credit. He answered the question of whether you can vote one-handed with a baby on your shoulder.
The Fresno mayoral candidate appeared at the voting center at the Central California Blood Center this week with his wife, Heather, and newborn, Wilhelmina.

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David Taub
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Janz was able to fill out the ovals and keep a clean shirt while voting. But he did need his wife to take over when he placed the ballot into the sleeve for the counting machine.
The Fresno County prosecutor also noted that thousands of ballots have been “rejected” by the county clerk because signatures did not match.

Orth Clarifies Signature Matching Process


“After a computerized review and two layers of human eyes taking a look at the signatures, there are cases where a good comparison cannot be made between the two documents.”Clerk Brandi Orth
County clerk Brandi Orth said Janz’s statements weren’t quite accurate but didn’t elaborate on how many rejections have taken place. She talked about the systems in place for voter accuracy, and how to fix mistakes:
“All signatures on vote-by-mail ballot envelopes are compared to the voter’s signature on their voter registration card.  After a computerized review and two layers of human eyes taking a look at the signatures, there are cases where a good comparison cannot be made between the two documents.  These ballot envelopes remain ‘in review,’ ” Orth said.
The clerk will send affected voters a letter.
“The voter has a period of time in which to ‘cure’ their signature — meaning sign the letter and return it to us.  The voter has until two days before we certify the election to return the letters, in this case, I believe we told the voters until March 28.  We again compare the signatures,” Orth said.
The other front-running candidate for Fresno mayor, Jerry Dyer, plans to vote Monday at the county elections office. Will he bring his granddaughter Charlotte to match Janz’s voting-with-baby photo op?

With Two New Appointments, ALRB at Full Strength

Gov. Gavin Newsom has replenished the state board in charge of farmer-labor relations.
Last week, Newsom appointed two new members to the board, while reappointing one sitting member.
Isadore Hall, whose 2017 appointment created much controversy, is back for a second term.
Newsom’s new appointments were Victoria Hassid, as ALRB chair, and Cinthia Flores.
Hassid of San Francisco served as the chief deputy director at the state Department of Industrial Relations. Flores, a Los Angeles native, had been a staff attorney for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights
Last year, Newsom appointed Barry Broad and Ralph Lightstone.
Even though the board members receive six-figure salaries, the ALRB barely met in 2018 and 2019 because of a lack of quorum. The next meeting is scheduled for March 12 in Sacramento.
All members are Democrats, and none are from the Central San Joaquin Valley.

Catalano, Payne Exchange Transportation Ideas

An interesting exchange occurred at the monthly Fresno Housing Authority board meeting this week between member Cary Catalano and State Center Community College District Trustee Eric Payne.
During public comment, Payne asked that the board be “mindful” about public transit accessibility needs when it holds meetings out metro Fresno. Payne suggested rideshare programs.
Catalano defended FHA holding meetings in rural areas such as Huron and Mendota.
“It’s nearly impossible for Huron residents to get here, so that’s why we want to go there. We haven’t been good stewards of them by not going out to them,” Catalano said.
He also asked Payne if his board provided similar transportation when SCCCD holds meetings away from its main Fresno location.
Catalano said he would love to look at a model the district used. Payne agreed.

Fresno Promotes Gaffery to Deputy City Manager

Thomas Gaffery

With 10 months to go in his term, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand elevated Thomas Gaffery to deputy city manager.
In a news release, the city said Gaffery will continue to run the parking division while adding customer service, the 311 call-in system, and the FresGO ap.
“I’m excited to have Thomas join our team as deputy city manager where we can combine his success in upgrading our parking services with his passion for exceptional customer service and his strong organizational abilities,” said Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan said.

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email