June 7, 2012 - Workers counting 14K outstanding ballots
Paper: Santa Maria Times (CA)
Title: Workers counting 14K outstanding ballots
Date: June 7, 2012
Author: Marga K. Cooley, Associate Editor
Election workers Wednesday were counting 12,000 outstanding vote-by-mail ballots and a little more than 2,000 provisional ballots, according to Joe Holland, registrar of voters for Santa Barbara County.
But it wasn’t clear how the votes would play into closer races across the county, such as Buellton’s Measure V, an 11-year extension of an existing bond initiative for school improvements.
The initiative was passing Tuesday night with 100 percent of precincts reporting, but just barely. It had received 55.2 percent yes votes and 44.8 percent no votes. It needs 55 percent to pass.
Other close races of note, said Holland, were parcel tax measures on the South Coast, Measure X and Measure W.
The measures, which would levy a $54-per-parcel tax on property owners in the Santa Barbara Unified School District, required a two-thirds vote and would generate $16 million for student programs over four years.
As of Tuesday night, with all precincts reporting, Measure X had 65 percent yes votes and Measure W had 64.3 percent; each needed 66.7 percent to pass.
Holland said there is no breakout showing what areas of the county the outstanding ballots are from, so it’s unclear which races they will affect. He said the provisional ballots will be counted last, and that his office’s website — www.sbcvote.com — will be updated late Thursday or Friday with new totals.
“We should be done sometime in the next couple of days,” he said of the counting process.
The county supervisors must certify the election results within 29 days, and until then all vote tallies are unofficial.
Holland said that without the outstanding ballots, the county saw a 35.8 percent voter turnout, with 68,445 ballots cast out of 191,061 registered voters.
When the 14,000 outstanding ballots are added in, the total number of ballots cast increases to 82,445, for a little more than 43 percent voter turnout.
Holland called Tuesday “a typical primary,” and noted that in the 2010 June primary the voter turnout was 44 percent.
“I’d like to see a little higher turnout, but I can’t say that I’m disappointed,” Holland said.
He added that he expects to see a much higher turnout for the general election in November, and said that in the 2008 November election — the year President Barack Obama was elected — the county had an 86 percent voter turnout with 176,000 ballots cast.
“We’re looking at about 82,00 ballots cast ... we may more than double that this coming November,” he said.
Holland said the county tried to keep the 97 polling locations across the county in the same spot for the Tuesday election, but said that with redistricting in 2011 several were changed.
People had some questions, he said, but overall “we didn’t have a whole lot of complaints.”
Record Number: fca891df45d54ea3a16f5192da57528ed1c3cd47
Copyright, 2012, Santa Maria Times, Santa Maria, CA