Election 2008: Lower turnout expected than presidential primary | SierraSun.com

Election 2008: Lower turnout expected than presidential primary

Dave Moller and Trina Kleist
Sun News Service

A lower turnout is expected Tuesday in Nevada County for the primary election than February’s presidential primary, based on the number of early ballots cast.

County Clerk-Recorder Gregory Diaz said about 14,000 mail and early walk-in ballots have been cast so far out of almost 61,000 registered voters. That’s 30 percent less than the approximate 20,000 that voted early a few days before the presidential primary.

The February special primary eventually drew almost 26,500 early ballots out of more than 40,000 cast for a 67 percent turnout, Diaz said Sunday.

“Mail ballots can be dropped off at the Rood Center or one of the polling places by 8 p.m.,” Diaz said. “They will be counted.”

The county’s top elections official said preparations are running smoothly.

“We’re looking for a trouble-free election day and hope the results will be in quickly,” Diaz said.

In local elections, voters face key decisions on representation in the House of Representatives and the state Assembly. Area Republicans, especially, have an array of choices.

In the race for the 4th Congressional District, one of the key choices facing Republicans is core philosophy versus attention to local issues.

The leading candidates, Tom McClintock and Doug Ose, both live outside the district. Ose claims Northern California roots and has at least mentioned key concerns such as building the Dorsey Drive interchange.

McClintock, a state senator from Southern California, has run for a variety of state offices in the past. He has tried to lay claim to the conservative mantle, painting Ose as a “liberal” Republican.

Two other Republican candidates, Suzanne Jones of Citrus Heights and Ted Terbolizard of Cedar Ridge, both live in the district. Terbolizard has campaigned on a libertarian reading of the Constitution, advocating a reduction in government and letting private enterprise have more control in areas such as foreign policy and education.

Jones has said her party has moved too far to the left, criticizing the Bush administration for deficit spending, but supporting the war in Iraq.

Among Democrats, Charlie Brown has campaigned on veterans issues, strong military defense and putting action to meet national needs above partisan politics. He also advocated greater federal funding to replace money lost to local schools due to slow timber sales. Brown’s opponent, John Wolfgram, has a libertarian view of government, saying the chief problems to solve is government corruption and restoring congressional authority.

In the race for the 3rd District Assembly seat, only the Republican nomination is contested in the race between Sue Horne, a county supervisor from southern Nevada County, and Dan Logue, a supervisor from Yuba County.

The race has turned ugly in recent weeks, with the two sides accusing each other of misrepesenting facts in their campaigns and resulting censure votes by county Republican organizations.

Despite the mudslinging, little separates Horne and Logue on issues of concern to most Republicans such as immigration, national defense, support of the Iraq war and willingness to explore nuclear power as an energy alternative.

Horne has shown more knowledge of local issues, including transportation needs, interest in reviving the timber industry and the difficult balance between growth and preserving the area’s natural beauty. Logue has received support from major national organizations, including the gun lobby.