Truckee voter turnout low in special election | SierraSun.com

Truckee voter turnout low in special election

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

Truckee’s polling booths were quiet early Tuesday as the eight propositions on the state’s special election ballot generated only a tepid response from local voters early in the day.

“Since its only my second time [as an inspector] and my first time was the presidential election, this is extremely slow,” said Lynn Burch, a poll inspector at the Truckee Community Center just before noon on Tuesday.

Truckee voters questioned outside of the polling booth seemed to think the money and effort than went into the special election was unnecessary. The election is expected to cost the state between $52 and $55 million.

“I’m against them all,” Donna Jones said of the eight propositions on the ballot. “I think the cost of the election was something that we didn’t need and couldn’t afford.”

Truckee resident Penny Fink agreed that the cost of the election was wasteful, as she walked out onto Church Street from her polling place.

“I’m absolutely against special elections. It costs too much money,” she said.

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John Roberts said he felt many people perceived the election as a judgment of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a governor.

“If he loses all of the [propositions] it will look bad for his political future,” said Roberts. “I think a lot of people are either voting for or against Arnold.”

Despite the nearly empty polling booths, poll workers reported a high number of absentee voted for the special election.

“I knew it was going to be slow, but there are a lot more absentees than usual,” said Mavis Bowes, an inspector at the Truckee Donner Public Utility District polls.

More than 40 percent of Nevada County’s voters asked for absentee ballots, said Nevada County Clerk-Recorder Kathleen Smith.

That’s about 26,000 of the county’s more than 64,000 voters, many of whom have chosen absentee ballots for convenience, according to Smith.

Bowes had only seen 35 voters come to the polls by 11:30 a.m.

Approximately 42 percent of registered voters were expected to turn out for Tuesday’s election, according to the California Secretary of State’s office.