Sonoma County’s November election will be mail-in only

Because of the recent North Coast fires, Sonoma County’s Nov. 7 election will be mail-in only, officials said.

The move, announced by Gov. Jerry Brown, reflects the far-reaching impact of the fires that destroyed thousands of homes and were responsible for 23 deaths. Election officials feared they would have difficulty securing polling places and poll workers.

Up to 20,000 voters are expected to cast ballots in four races. They include a contest for a seat on the Timber Cove water district board and three measures - a parcel tax in the Wilmar Union School District, a cannabis business tax in Cotati and an urban growth boundary renewal and extension in Windsor.

Sonoma County elections officials began sending ballots about two weeks ago. The final batch went out late last week, said Bill Rousseau, the county’s elections chief.

They must be returned with a postmark no later than Nov. 7, Rousseau said.

“It just makes it a lot easier for everyone,” he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 707-568-5312 or On Twitter @ppayne.

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