October 31, 2008 - Record 425,968 eligible to vote in Ventura County
Paper: Ventura County Star (CA)
Title: Record 425,968 eligible to vote in Ventura County
Date: October 31, 2008
Author: Timm Herdt
A record 425,968 Ventura County voters will be eligible to cast ballots in Tuesday's election , a 12.5 percent increase since the first of the year.
The final registration numbers, released Thursday by elections officials, reflect a spike in interest among young voters, Clerk-Recorder Phil Schmit said.
"The young people have so much interest in this election ," he said. "And not only have they registered, they're pulling mail-in ballots and they're voting ."
Schmit said that by the beginning of the day Thursday his office had already processed a record 78,262 mail-in ballots and expects to process thousands more by the weekend. The process includes checking the signature on each ballot against the signature on the voter's registration form.
Elections officials have sent out 176,725 mail-in ballots, representing 41.5 percent of all county voters. Schmit is projecting a turnout of 83 percent, which would mean about half of all votes cast this fall will be on mail-in ballots.
Mail ballots must be received by the Elections Division by Tuesday to be counted.
Any received after Tuesday will not count - the day they are postmarked does not matter - and elections officials advise voters who have not mailed their ballots by today to drop them off at the County Government Center or, on Election Day, at any polling place in the county.
Ballots received by today will be processed and fed into computerized counters ahead of the election . By law, however, no vote count can be totaled until after polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Mail ballots received after today will not be processed until after Election Day, but will count in the final tally.
Because of the flood of mail-in ballots, the elections office has hired about 70 temporary workers who are working two shifts to process the 50 to 70 trays of mail that have been steadily coming in each day from the post office. In past elections , Schmit said, each day's mail would fit in about 20 trays.
Schmit and Assistant Registrar of Voters Tracy Saucedo said they are confident county officials will be able to handle the Election Day workload.
Saucedo said 365 polling places will be set up in the county Tuesday, and there is a surplus of people who have signed up to work at the polls.
"We have a waiting list," she said. "It's very nice. People just aren't canceling this year like they have in the past."
Of the 47,467 new registrations this year, 53.3 percent have registered as Democrats. Of the rest, 27.1 percent are Republicans, 16.6 percent decline to state a party affiliation and 3 percent have affiliated with other parties.
As a result of those strong registration gains, Democrats supplanted Republicans as the dominant party in the county earlier this year.
On Jan. 1, Republicans held a 2,316-voter advantage. By the Oct. 20 close of registration for Tuesday's election , Democrats had taken a 10,150-voter advantage.
Record Number: 210894
Copyright, 2008, Ventura County Star