November 4, 2008 - Registrar : Expect long lines at the polls today
Paper: Lodi News-Sentinel (CA)
Title: Registrar : Expect long lines at the polls today
Date: November 4, 2008
Author: Ross Farrow News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Voters turning their ballots in at the polls are being advised to prepare for long lines today.
San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters Austin Erdman expects more than 80 percent of the county's registered voters to cast their ballots. Even though many people took advantage of early voting at the registrar 's office in Stockton or mailed in their ballots, it will still be crowded for those voting the traditional way at their local polling station.
The entrance to the registrar 's office was cramped on Monday morning because voters were casting early ballots. There was room for about a half-dozen people to vote at one time. The state now allows early voting, either by dropping off ballots at certain locations or by voting at the registrar 's office.
"We had people camped out on Sunday waiting for 8 o'clock to roll around (Monday)," Erdman said. "They had chairs and heaters."
Even though more people are casting "vote by mail," formerly known as "absentee ballots," polling places may still be crowded today even though fewer people may vote in person, Erdman said. In precincts that returned a lot of vote by mail ballots, Erdman said he is consolidating neighboring precincts, so it will still be crowded.
Despite the county facing the possibility of a record turnout, Erdman said that registration is actually down from the 2004 presidential election. That's because of the high number of home foreclosures in the county, he said.
Sample ballots were returned from 10,000 addresses, which equals the number of foreclosed homes, Erdman said.
In Lodi, rides on the scheduled GrapeLine bus service will be free of charge today, and Dial-A-Ride will be open an hour later to accommodate election day voters . GrapeLine operates from 6:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.
"It's our way of helping people exercise their Constitutional right to vote and, maybe, it will introduce some people to our service who will see how easy it is to use," Lodi Transportation Manager Tiffani Fink said on the city Web site.
Voters headed to the polls today will once again use the touch-screen voting machine, the same equipment used in the two primary elections this year in San Joaquin County. The county didn't experience problems with touch screens earlier this year, Erdman said.
The county registrar 's Web site, www.sjcrov.org, gives interactive instructions on how to vote by touch screen.
And after the election, Waste Management encourages everyone to recycle their sample ballots, political mailers and most signs and posters. Most banners are not recyclable and belong in the trash if they cannot be re-used.
Voting at a glance Polls open: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.
Where to vote: In Lodi, visit www.lodi.gov/election/html/polling_place.html; in San Joaquin County, www.sjcrov/ballotinfo/html; Sacramento County, www.elections.saccounty.net/PollingPlaceInformation/default.htm; in Galt, vote-by-mail ballots may be delivered to Galt city clerk's office, 380 Civic Drive.
General election information: San Joaquin County: 468-2885 or www.sjcrov.org; Sacramento County: (916) 875-6451 or www.elections.saccounty.net.
Grapeline routes and schedules: 333-6806 or www.lodi.gov/transit/ introductions.html.
Source: San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters ; Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections; city of Lodi; city of Galt
Voter registration at a glance Lodi Total registered: 27,532 Registered Republicans: 14,092 (51.6 percent) Registered Democrats: 8,765 (31.8 percent) Declined to state: 3,603 (13.1 percent)
San Joaquin County Total registered: 268,476 Registered Democrats: 115,571 (43.0 percent) Registered Republicans: 105,544 (39.3 percent) Declined to state: 37,579 (14.0 percent
California Total registered: 17,304,091 Registered Democrats: 7,683,495 (44.4 percent) Registered Republicans: 5,428,052 (31.4 percent) Declined to state: 3,444,923 (19.9 percent) American Independent: 370,405 (2.1 percent) Green: 118,416 (0.7 percent) Libertarian: 83,574 (0.5 percent) Peace and Freedom: 56,350 (0.3 percent) Miscellaneous: 118,876 (0.7 percent)
Source: San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters ; California Secretary of State's Office. Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Record Number: 12441A598C61B550
Copyright (c) 2008 Lodi News-Sentinel, http://www.lodinews.com