November 4, 2008 - Officials expect record turnout - READY: Extra poll workers have been deployed for crush
Paper: Daily News of Los Angeles (CA)
Title: Officials expect record turnout - READY: Extra poll workers have been deployed for crush.
Date: November 4, 2008
Author: Troy Anderson, Staff Writer
Although rain is expected this morning in Los Angeles, election officials anticipate a record turnout in this historic election and have deployed extra poll workers and printed additional ballots to handle the crush of voters .
"I think the motivation and interest in this election is at an all-time high, and I think people will find their way to the polls to vote," Registrar -Recorder Dean Logan said. "Hopefully, the rain will hold off and we won't have people out in the elements waiting to vote."
The National Weather Service is predicting a 60 percent chance of rain in parts of Los Angeles County this morning, clearing by the afternoon.
An election watchdog group is concerned there won't be enough ballots for all the voters and a "looming crisis" is brewing, but Logan said his office will deliver extra ballots to 75 to 100 precincts and has made contingency plans in case ballots do run out.
"We believe there will be sufficient quantifies of ballots in those precincts where voter registration totals have gone up significantly," Logan said.
Over the weekend, Election Protection advocates sent a letter to Logan, asking him to print enough precinct-marked ballots to guarantee a ballot for every one of the county's record 4.3 million registered voters .
The advocates made the request after learning that some precinct inspectors only received 800 ballots in precincts with rosters of 1,500 voters , a result of Logan reportedly only ordering enough ballots for 80 percent of the registered voter pool, with the inactive voters purged from the pool, according to Work the Vote Los Angeles.
In the event of a ballot shortage, the county has contingency plans to deliver extra ballots to the polls and use emergency ballots.
When the supply of regular ballots runs out, poll workers can use the yellow emergency ballots, which are transcribed onto regular ballots after the election, said Sheri Myers of Work the Vote.
"We may be looking at races and propositions that are held up for days because so many emergency ballots are used in the county," Myers said.
The advocates are especially concerned about the potential impact of the purported ballot shortage on the race between Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks and state Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, who are battling for the 2nd District seat held by retiring county Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke.
The polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Logan urged people to consider voting at times other than early morning and late afternoon. Shorter waits are expected from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
In an effort to make voting easier, the city of Los Angeles is also relaxing parking restrictions and meter requirements within one block of every polling place.
In anticipation of heavy turnout, Logan's office has increased the number of poll booths and poll workers in each of the 4,394 polling locations. Logan's office has recruited and trained more than 26,000 poll workers to help voters , with a minimum of seven polling booths at each location.
Conducting the election is expected to cost the county at least $32 million, up from $24 million in 2004.
Memo: VOTE 2008
Edition: Valley rop
Index Terms: LOS ANGELES COUNTY - FORECAST - VOTER TURNOUT - RECORD - HISTORY - US - ; PRESIDENT
Record Number: 0811040085
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