August 19, 2006 - November ballot to be a long one
Paper: Ukiah Daily Journal (CA)
Title: November ballot to be a long one
Date: August 19, 2006
Voters should expect to make a lot of decisions on Election Day in November.
The filing period to put candidates and measures on the Nov. 7 General Election ballot is expired, and the ballot looks to be a lengthy one according to Mendocino County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder Marsha Wharff.
Voters in Ukiah will see local contests such as the race between six candidates for three Ukiah City Council seats, run-offs for Mendocino County Sheriff-Coroner and Mendocino County District Attorney, the hotel and motel room tax measure for the City of Ukiah, Mendocino County's advisory measure on the war in Iraq and a $67.5 million bond measure for Mendocino College facilities, as well as a number of statewide and district-wide races.
Besides the local races, voters will weigh in on 13 state ballot propositions, races for the U.S. Senate and 1st district representatives for the California Senate and Assembly, confirmation of 12 justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and many state offices, including governor.
"The list just goes on and on, and they all have a lot of candidates," Wharff said of the numerous statewide positions on the ballot.
Because of the number of contests and candidates for this election, Wharff said that ballot will be 14 inches long rather than the typical 11 inches -- something that happens about every four years when statewide offices are up for election.
"It does seem like there are a lot of propositions on the ballot this time," Wharff said. "It's not always this long, but we have had more in the past, and we've had less."
Wharff, who's been working to lay out what she calls a "very busy ballot," said long ballots can be frustrating for voters, leading to fatigue.
"There is usually a lot of drop off on a ballot," Wharff explained. "People tend to vote more for items at the beginning than the end."
Other than its length, however, the ballot and voting process will be the same as in the June primary.
Mendocino County will continue to use paper ballots and will again provide one touchscreen per polling location to comply with federal law. Wharff maintains that the consolidated precincts must remain the same as they were in the June primary, so most of the county's 48,000 voters will again be voting by mail.
Beginning Sept. 1, all voters who are in mail ballot precincts or who are permanent absentee voters will be mailed a post card telling them when to expect to receive their official ballot. Beginning Sept. 28, sample ballots containing information about candidates, measures and location of each voter's polling place - if they still have one - will be mailed to all voters. Voters in mail-only precincts or permanent absentee voters will see a message on the sample ballot explaining that their ballot will arrive by mail.
Author: Ukiah Daily Journal Staff
(c) 2006 Ukiah Daily Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.