June 3, 2012 - Primary election Tuesday will have some new twists
Paper: Chico Enterprise-Record (Chico, CA)
Title: Primary election Tuesday will have some new twists
Date: June 3, 2012
Author: Staff Reports
Tuesday's primary election will differ from past primaries in several ways.
Last year, a new state law, the Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, took effect.
In the past, voters who registered as members of qualified political parties — such as the Republican, Democratic and Green parties — received primary ballots with only the names of state and federal candidates from their own parties.
Starting with this election, all voters will get ballots with the names of all the candidates, except for presidential candidates and a couple of other categories.
Voters still will vote for just one candidate for each office, but they are free to choose any candidate regardless of their party.
In the past, the candidate getting the most votes for each party advanced to the general election. Now, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election.
So, conceivably, the general election could see two Republicans running against each other, or two Democrats vying for the same office — things that could not have happened in past general elections.
The new law does not apply to the presidency, local offices and the parties' county central committees.
One other difference in this election is that congressional, Assembly and state Senate districts have new boundaries. This is the first election to be held since the new lines were drawn last year by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Among non-partisan races, such as the Board of Supervisors, if a candidate receives 50 percent plus one vote of those cast, that individual wins the race.
If there are multiple candidates for a particular position and nobody gets a majority, the two top vote-getters will have a run-off election in the November general election.
It is too late to register to vote in Tuesday's election. It is also too late to drop a vote-by-mail ballot at the post office, but it is not too late to vote.
The polls will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m.
If you are unsure where your polling place is located, you can call the Butte County Elections Office at 538-7761.
That information can also be obtained by visiting http://clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/root0605/pollplac.htm on the Internet.
Besides helping one find his or her polling place, sample ballots can be viewed at this site.
Individuals who have yet to turn in their vote-by-mail ballots can drop them off at any polling place until they close at 8 p.m. or at the county's Elections Office in the Administration Building at 25 County Center Drive in Oroville.
About the ballots ...
With the election coming to a primary vote on Tuesday, the clerk-recorder's office is ready for the influx of ballots, even if that influx is weaker than Candace Grubbs would like.
Grubbs, Butte County's clerk-recorder/ registrar of voters, estimates that about 50 percent of registered voters in the county will cast their ballots. That's about the average percent of elections with an incumbent president running, but it still isn't as much as she'd like to see.
"It costs the same to put on an election whether voters turn out or not," she said.
Her office was open for voters on Saturday, but by about 11 a.m., only one voter entered.
People who forgot to send their vote-by-mail ballots dropped them in the drop box outside rather than come inside, she said.
Just like those voters, Grubbs suggests that other vote-by-mail procrastinators find a drop box or come to the office since the ballot must be there by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Postmarked ballots dated before Tuesday will not be counted if not in by that time.
As of midday Saturday, 23,659 valid vote-by-mail ballots out of 67,358 sent out were recorded by the office.
Caption: Photo: Michael Hogan (left) picks up a ballot from deputy county clerk Cheri Edwards at the county's Elections Office on Saturday.(Jason Halley/Staff Photo) All Chico E-R photos are available here.
Index Terms: Local
Record Number: 20772477
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