Tahoe transit tax fails to garner enough support

Measure E received an overwhelming upset Tuesday when voters turned down the half-cent sales tax to improve local transportation.

With a low voter turnout, voters showed by 59 percent that they did not approve of the sales tax. Voters approved of the measure by 41 percent. However, every special election needs a two-thirds majority before it will pass. Even though the results are semi-final - 40 to 50 provisional ballots and 80 to 100 absentee ballots have yet to be counted - it is unlikely Measure E will pass, according to the Placer County Election department.

"We will have lots of time to sit in traffic and think," said Jennifer Merchant, executive director of the Truckee-North Tahoe Transportation Management Association.

Merchant added there will be another transportation improvement effort in the future.

Measure E was placed on the ballot through special legislation to allow a special sales tax region to be drawn.

"Every good effort up here fails at least once," said Merchant. "Failure is just another stepping stone on the road to success."

As well as counting the remaining ballots, the elections department will also be looking into a claim made by the Yes on Measure E group. The claim states that a poll worker was urging people to vote against Measure E.

"They claim that there was a person at the polling place that talked to a voter about the measure," said Ryan Ronco, acting assistant registrar at Placer County Elections Department. "If that is the case, we are very concerned about it."

Talking to voters before they vote is considered electioneering and is illegal within 100 feet of a polling place.

"I've never heard anything like that happening in Placer County before," said Ryan Ronco, acting assistant registrar at Placer County elections department.

All polling workers have the option to take a class informing them of the rules and laws for polling places, but only poll inspectors are required to take the class.

Actively polluting the voting pool could mean a revote, said Ronco.

However, the county is still investigating the claim and will not have results from the election until early next week.

The incident could be just as innocent as the poll worker showing a voter where arguments for and against the measure were in the ballot.

Final election results, including the investigation and absentee ballot counts are expected early next week, according to the Placer County Election department.

Measure E transportation tax

Voter turnout:

35.4 percent

Registered voters 7,001

Total Ballots Cast 2,477

voter results:

Yes votes 1,008 40.9 percent

No votes 1,455 59.1 percent



Failure is just another stepping stone on the road to success.


Jennifer Merchant

Truckee-North Tahoe Transportation

Management Association

*These results are the semi-final election results from the Placer County Election Division.


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