The lower-altitude parts of Calaveras County where President-elect Donald Trump drew his strongest support are also the areas where voters were most likely to reject the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana use, according to a detailed precinct-by-precinct breakdown of Nov. 8 election results.
The official vote count released Friday by the Calaveras County Elections Office showed geographic differences as well in how voters responded to Measure D, which would have established permanent regulations for the county’s cannabis industry.
Overall, county voters rejected Measure D by a margin of 53.6 percent opposed to 46.4 percent in favor. But Measure D won a majority of the votes cast in five upcountry precincts, including precincts in West Point, Rail Road Flat and Mountain Ranch, where many of the county’s hundreds of cannabis farms are concentrated.
In Mountain Ranch Southeast precinct, Measure D received a 50.1 percent “yes” vote. That was a margin of only two votes, with 372 voting “yes” and 370 voting “no.” The “yes” margin was slightly higher in some other upcountry precincts. Measure D received approval from 51.5 percent of the voters in Rail Road Flat, 53.5 percent in West Point West, 54.8 percent in West Point East and 53.5 percent in Arnold East.
The anti-Measure D vote was strongest in the rural outskirts of San Andreas, parts of Angels Camp, and areas near Copperopolis. The Copperopolis West precinct had the highest proportion of voters opposed to Measure D, with 71.4 percent casting no votes.
County voters as a whole resoundingly favored Trump over Hillary Clinton by 57.4 percent to 33.8 percent. There were four precincts, however, where Clinton received more votes. Those pro-Clinton precincts were Mountain Ranch North and three others on upper Highway 4: Arnold East, Forest Meadows and Murphys West.
Trump, meanwhile, had his strongest support in the Jenny Lind precinct, with 72.4 percent of the votes. The Jenny Lind precinct also had the distinction of being the place where the highest proportion of voters cast ballots against Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use. Only 30.6 percent of voters in Jenny Lind favored Proposition 64, while 69.4 percent were opposed.
Countywide, 52.6 percent of voters were opposed to Proposition 64. The measure passed statewide, however, by a margin of 57.1 percent “yes” to 42.9 percent “no.”
Still, Proposition 64 did win a majority of votes cast in 11 of Calaveras County’s 29 precincts, including those in the Mountain Ranch and Rail Road Flat areas, four precincts on upper Highway 4, one precinct in Angels Camp, San Andreas proper, Copperopolis East and the Rancho Calaveras-Jenny Lind precinct, which is distinct from the Jenny Lind precinct.
The detailed precinct breakdowns also showed that a majority of voters in San Andreas and Rural San Andreas precincts supported District 1 Supervisor Cliff Edson’s bid for a second term. Voters in four precincts in the Valley Springs and Burson areas favored challenger Gary Tofanelli, who ultimately won the contest by a margin of 53.4 percent to 46 percent. Edson lives in San Andreas and operates a restaurant there. Tofanelli lives in the west end of the district and owns a steel company based in Stockton.
Meanwhile, the completion of the final official county means that Clyde Clapp is now the supervisor representing District 5, following the recall of former Supervisor Steve Kearney. District 5 voters recalled Kearney by a margin of 60.7 percent to 39.3 percent. Clapp was the top vote-getter among four candidates to complete Kearney’s term. Clapp had 33 percent of the votes cast to complete Kearney’s term in office.
Elections officials reported that Clapp was scheduled to be sworn in at 2 p.m. Monday.
Three other newly elected supervisors – Tofanelli, District 2 Supervisor-elect Jack Garamendi and District 4 Supervisor-elect Dennis Mills – will take their seats on the board in January.