Low voter turnout expected | SierraSun.com

Low voter turnout expected

Dave Moller, Trina Kleist and David Bunker
Sun and Sun News Service

The stream of voters headed to the polls today is expected to be more of a trickle as low turnout and voting by mail combine to keep the polls quiet.

Placer County Elections Clerk Jim McCauley predicted a 40 percent turnout, which would make it the lowest voter participation in a primary election since he took over the elections department in 1987.

“There’s not a lot on this ballot,” said McCauley, while still urging voters to participate.

In Placer County, McCauley said nearly 70 percent of voters may vote by mail this election.

Likewise in Nevada County, officials are expecting similar turnout numbers.

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.

In local elections, voters face key decisions on representation in the House of Representatives, the state Assembly, the Placer County Supervisors office and a property assessment to fund Truckee schools called Measure L.

North Tahoe and Donner Summit voters are tuning in to the three-way race for Placer County’s District Five Supervisor seat. Incumbent Bruce Kranz is facing Donner Summit businesswoman Jennifer Montgomery and state lobbyist Bob Houston of Meadow Vista. If a majority of votes is not cast for any one candidate, the two top vote-getters will go to a run-off election in November.

In the race for the 4th Congressional District the leading candidates, Tom McClintock and Doug Ose, both live outside the district.

Among Democrats, Charlie Brown faces John Wolfgram.

In the race for the 3rd District Assembly seat, only the Republican nomination is contested: Sue Horne faces Dan Logue.