Know your recall ABCs in Truckee |

Know your recall ABCs in Truckee

Sun file photoA voter exercises his democratic muscles during the 2002 election in Truckee.

If nothing else, the California gubernatorial statewide special election has raised many questions.

Is the recall still on? What about that court ruling? Has my polling place changed? How do I find my favorite candidate? Why am I deciding between celebrities, an adult film actress and college students?

The answers: Yes; it was overturned; no; it might be tough; and because it’s California.

According to Lorraine Jewett-Burdick, the Nevada County Clerk-Recorder, Nevada County voters have nothing to worry about.

Choices, choices

Voters will have a few choices to make on the ballot: yes or no on recalling Gov. Gray Davis, a choice for a replacement governor, yes or no for Proposition 53 and yes or no for Proposition 54.

Jewett-Burdick stressed that, even those voters who vote “no” for the recall may select a replacement candidate – it’s basically a “just in case” vote.

While there are 135 candidates listed on the ballot, there will be some semblance of order. A few weeks ago, the California Secretary of State held a lottery to choose a random alphabetical order for the candidate list.

The newly designed alphabet will be in random order, but candidates will be grouped together by last names. For example, all the candidates with a last name starting with “R” will be together.

For the replacement candidate, Jewett-Burdick said the winner will be “whoever gets the most votes.” She added, “Someone could get 10 percent of the vote and win the election.”

Where is my polling place?

Polling places are listed on each ballot, and in some cases around Truckee, certain areas are an all-mail ballot precinct. Also, the county’s Web site has a search set to find polling places. Nevada County residents may enter their address and the Web site will list the correct polling place. Polling places are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Some areas in Truckee are called an “all mail ballot precinct,” meaning all the ballots from that precinct must be mailed in like an absentee ballot.

Jewett-Burdick said that going to the correct polling place is important, and is the best way to get votes counted in a timely manner. Going to a polling place that is more easily accessible is more attractive to voters, but is a big concern throughout the state and could cause serious delays, she said.

Punch card ballot controversy

Nevada County residents do not have to worry about hanging, pregnant or any other kind of “chad.” According to Jewett-Burdick, the county has used an “optical scan voting system” since 1994.

To further expedite the process, the polling places send their results via modem to the elections office in Nevada City.

The results

Because there are no local issues on the ballot, Jewett-Burdick said the best way to find results is through the California Secretary of State’s Web site, at

The polls close at 8 p.m. and the results from absentee ballots are released first, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Jewett-Burdick said. She added it takes approximately an hour to close and deliver the ballots to Nevada City, but the first results should be released at approximately 9 p.m.

For more information on the recall election, visit For more information on Nevada County election information, visit

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