There are thousands and thousands of votes yet to count — just under 15,000 votes counted on Election Night itself! — but the county office is throwing in the towel for today. 

What’s happening? Arroyo is trending downward and seems very likely to fall below the 50 percent threshold that would allow her to avoid a runoff against Mike Newman. The Clerk-Recorder/Registrar race seems absolutely certain to go to a second round, with Hunt Nielsen just over 46 percent and Cervantes just over 40.

The races with more commanding leads are, if anything, even more commanding. DA candidate Stacey Eads has 59 percent of the vote. Auditor-Controller candidate Cheryl Dillingham has nearly 70. Superior Court Judge candidate Steven Steward has 57 percent. Fifth District incumbent Steve Madrone has what must be an insurmountable 61 percent. All these candidates should feel very confident.

Measure J and Measure K — the 12 percent hotel tax and the $1 vehicle license fee for abandoned vehicle abatement — are comfortably cruising to easy victories.

We’ll know more eventually, but not for quite a while 

Full final Election Night report at this link.

— Hank Sims



Again — only a few hundred votes counted. It’s gonna be a long night, and beyond.

The big questions of the moment seem to be: Will Fourth District Supervisor candidate Natalie Arroyo slip beneath 50 percent, necessitating a November runoff? It’s trending in that direction. Will Tiffany Hunt Nielsen maintain her lead over Juan Pablo Cervantes in the Clerk-Recorder/Registrar race?

Other than that: Pretty convincing leads for Madrone, Eads, Steward, Stillman and of course Dillingham.

Full report here.

— Hank Sims



Fourth District Supervisor candidate Natalie Arroyo scrutinizes the sparse second report. Photo: Andrew Goff.

The second results have been posted, with only about 400 more votes counted countywide. As you’d expect, no significant change.

Full results here, if you like.

— Hank Sims


UPDATE, 10:03 p.m.:

Couple of corrections in the results tables below — notably for judge and Arcata City Council. Apologies for the fat fingers. They have been corrected.

— Hank Sims


UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: Dillingham From Both Sides

I’d guess you’d call it a pretty diverse political crew at the Dillingham party, as documented by the Outpost’s Andrew Goff.

Below: First District Supervisor Rex Bohn, Sheriff Billy Honsal and the candidate.

Below: Liberal Arcata potentates from days of yore — and from now, it looks like! — Sam Pennisi, Alex Stillman and Dan Hauser.

— Hank Sims


UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.:

Reader Isabella Wotherspoon sends along a photo of the McLaughlin for Judge crew at Humbrews.

— Hank Sims


UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.:

Eads and incumbent DA Maggie Fleming.

Supporters of Stacey Eads congregated at Phatsy Kline’s Parlor Lounge this evening to await preliminary election results. Surrounded by family and friends (notably her best friend who travelled up from San Diego for the party) Eads was proud to say she had led “a very positive campaign.”

“So many great people from all walks of life have offered their support and I’ve gotten to learn a lot more about good things people are doing for the community as a whole,” she said. “I’ll be happy with however Humboldt decides to go. I feel like we’ve done a good job with getting our campaign out there and letting folks know that I’m a qualified candidate.”

— Isabella Vanderheiden


UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.:

Natalie Arroyo is celebrating election night with a karaoke party at North of Fourth. As she prepared to do a rendition of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’” she told the Outpost she’s stoked to be surrounded by supporters.

“I’m feeling really positive!” she said. “It’s been an awesome experience going door to door and personally connecting with nearly 2,000 constituents at their homes. …I’m looking forward to being a thoughtful decision maker for the county and participating in an open and transparent public process.”

Along with cocktails served up by North of Fourth, Arroyo’s supporters enjoyed a fruit plate spread and catering from Cassaro’s.

— Isabella Vanderheiden


UPDATE, 8:49 p.m.:

Mike Newman is enjoying Chapala offerings with friends and family this evening. He told the Outpost he’s feeling good about the election and from here he’ll have to “see where the chips fall.”

“I just want to thank all of my supporters,” he said. “I want to make sure people understand that I’m not painted into a corner as a conservative. I’m a moderate and I don’t make up my mind before things are presented to me. …I’m looking forward to serving the community as supervisor.”

— Isabella Vanderheiden


UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: Screams of Joy at the Dillingham Party

Massive, massive jubilation at the Cheryl Dillingham party at Arcata’s Septentrio Winery:

Obviously these first results are a big, big win for Team Dillingham and very very bad news for incumbent Auditor-Controller Karen Paz Dominguez.

“I think we can keep that above 50%,” Dillingham told the Outpost’s Andrew Goff.

Other people out to a very commanding lead: DA candidate Stacey Eads, incumbent Fifth District Supervisor Steve Madrone and Arcata City Council Candidate Alex Stillman.

Fourth District candidate Natalie Arroyo can feel pretty good about her barely-above-50 percent lead, as can Superior Court Judge candidate Steven Steward.

— Hank Sims



Here are the first elections results of the night — 12,197 total ballots, all of them processed by the Elections Office before polls closed. Vote-by-mail (or drop box) ballots, in other words, ballots received before today.


— Hank Sims


UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.:

Kelly Sanders.

The Outpost’s Ryan Burns is at the busy, busy, busy Elections Office, where Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Kelly Sanders is running her second-to-last election. There’s a stack of pizza in boxes, salad, fruit and something from Safeway called a “chocolate chip pudding ring.” Clearly settling in for a long night.

Scanning machines, first used in March 2020, have signature-recognition software. Captures voter signatures and interfaces with election management system to compare with the signature on voter registrations. A human still verifies each and every signature and ballot though.

“I really love the automation of this,” Sanders said. “It makes things go a lot faster.”

First results coming soon, Sanders said.

Hardworking Elections Office call-center folks are still taking calls!

— Hank Sims


UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: Team Doss at Bigfoot

Fifth District supervisorial candidate Larry Doss and his supporters are spending their election night squatchin’ at McKinleyville’s cavernous Bigfoot Taproom. Doss predicted an early night for him and his crew — the place closes at 9 p.m. — but said he’s feeling good about the campaign he’s run. When asked what he thinks his odds of winning the race he smiled and said, “I didn’t do all this to lose.”

— Andrew Goff


Arcata resident Marian Reeves drops her ballot into the drop box at the Sunny Brae Murphy’s Market. Photo: Andrew Goff.


So polls are just about ready to close (at 8 p.m.) and it’s almost all over except the countin’! And the partying! And the agonizing! Your 2022 California Statewide Primary Election is almost a wrap!

Who will be our next District Attorney? Or Auditor-Controller? Or supervisors from the Fourth and Fifth Districts? Or etc.? Will we find out sooner (maybe) or later (probably)?

The Elections Office received about 16,000 ballots before the start of business this morning. The great majority of them should be tallied in time for the first election night report, which is due to land at about 8:30 p.m.

Four years ago, in the June 2018 primary election, when all these same races were on the ballot, a grand total of 32,128 Humboldt County voters cast ballots — a dismal 42.27 percent turnout. Will it be more this time? Less? Who knows! Certainly not us, and even the Elections Office won’t know absolute precise numbers for at least a few days, given that it’ll have to sort through conditional and provisional ballots cast today.

If that turnout rate does hold, we can expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 37,500 total votes this cycle. (Registration numbers have risen over the last four years.) But one thing that’s dead certain that there will be thousands and thousands of votes still uncounted tomorrow morning — not only those provisional and conditional ballots, but vote-by-mail ballots that came into the Elections Office late today, or are still wending their way home through the U.S. Postal Service.

Will we really know anything when votes close, then? We will if and only if the results we get tonight are significantly lopsided. In the past, we could rely on the differing political makeup of the three waves of voting — early absentee voters, precinct voters, late absentee voters — to tell us a great deal about the way an election was trending, but it’s no longer clear how that applies in the age of universal vote-by-mail. (See this post, from right before the world exploded, for an explanation of this now presumably dead phenomenon.)

But we’re gonna go through the motions anyway here at the Outpost, and we will attempt to stay up until the final election night report comes in — round about 1 a.m., if past history holds. We’ll be posting away on those updates as they happen, and we’ll also be swinging by campaign parties around the county. Those are a thing again!

We live to serve! Witness this exceedingly edifying conversation we had with a Facebook Friend O’ the LoCO this afternoon, as regards the headline of the Election Day kickoff post this morning:

FACEBOOK READER: What’s up with the “Democracy” comment? Shouldn’t you be neutral as a news site where people get their info???

LoCO: Not sure what you mean…

FACEBOOKER: Celebrate democracy???? Really???

LoCO: Oh! Why would you not celebrate democracy, especially on election day? It’s a day of civic pride. It’s akin to saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Fourth of July,” the way we see it.

FACEBOOKER: How about just happy Election Day. I understand lost coast is super liberal and negative so stay neutral.

LoCO: It never occurred to me that “democracy” could be controversial. Help me out: When we wrote “Celebrate Democracy!” what did you take that to mean?

FACEBOOKER: Well I’m sure as hell not a democrat

LoCO: Well, no. But you don’t have to be a Democrat to celebrate democracy. Right?

FACEBOOKER: Did you mean celebrate Election Day?

LoCO: Well, election day is the day when we undertake the most basic and important task of citizens in a democracy. No?


LoCO: Well, there you go. So on Election Day we remind ourselves that we are citizens in a democracy — that we choose the people who will run our government, and who are therefore answerable to us — and that is a thing worth celebrating.

FACEBOOKER: I’m republican

LoCO: What form of government do we have in the United States?

FACEBOOKER: Democrats and republicans

LoCO: No. Those are political parties.

FACEBOOKER: Yes but you said celebrate democracy

LoCO: Right — not dictatorship, not monarchy. Democracy. Democracy is the process through which we elect our leaders. Republican leaders, sometimes!

FACEBOOKER: Happy Election Day!!!

LoCO: You too!

OK! A lot more of that coming up tonight, and presumably throughout the remainder of all our natural lives. Election Night starts …. now!