Registrar calls for a turnout of 65%-70%
Nov 03, 2012 (Los Banos Enterprise (Los Banos - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Tuesday is Election Day, and turnout in Merced County is expected to be nearly double from 2010.
"The best information we got to go on is the 2008 election; we expect 65 to 70 percent of registered voters. That's double what it was in 2010," said Kent Christensen, Merced County's registrar of voters. "I would think it has to do with the presidential election."
Merced County has 98,927 registered voters, 13,284 of whom live in Los Banos.
Christensen said his office has already started the process of verifying signatures and voting status on absentee ballots that have been received. He said he wants voters to understand the time left to turn in absentee ballots is short.
"Turn in ballots as early as possible. They must be at this office by Tuesday, not postmarked by Tuesday," he said.
Christensen said he prefers that people mail in their ballots, because handing them to a poll worker on Election Day creates more work for his office.
The elections department has 400 poll workers staffing 129 precincts in the county. Christensen said there are a number of areas in the county where there are fewer than 250 registered voters in the district. He said voters can only vote by absentee ballot in those districts.
There are 14 precincts in Los Banos. Christensen said his office is flooded with calls from people asking where their precinct is located. The polling place is listed on sample ballots mailed ealier this month, he said.
A slew of propositions and candidates seeking state and national office are featured in the upcoming election.
Los Banos has two candidates in its mayoral race, four vying for two seats on the City Council and six people competing for three school board slots.
Polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Christensen said election results should be known by 10:30 election night. Results will be posted on the Merced County Elections Department's website at www.co.merced.ca.us. Click on the departments link and scroll to elections.
Reporter Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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