Weak turnout expected for Tuesdays vote
NEVADA COUNTY People living in Nevada County are voting in weak numbers this special election, mimicking historical and statewide trends.As of early Friday afternoon, the elections office had received 14,829 ballots, about 35 percent of the 42,661 vote-by-mail ballots first mailed out April 20.Im hoping well get (back) about 50 percent of what we mailed out, said Nevada County Clerk Recorder Gregory Diaz.About 70 percent of Nevada County voters cast ballots by mail, the third-highest ranking in the state, Diaz said.In an effort to save money, Diaz and other registrars from the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials lobbied the state unsuccessfully for a mail-only election this time.Each mail ballot costs $5 compared to $14 for polling place votes. Voting electronically also costs less money than traditional paper ballots.Both locally and statewide, an estimated 30 to 40 percent of registered voters are expected to turn out Tuesday to vote for the six statewide propositions, Diaz said.Thats a small turnout compared to Novembers general election, when 88.9 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.Special elections typically attract a small percentage of voters, Diaz said.I dont remember any special election in the last 20 years going over 50 percent. This year seems to be no exception, Diaz said. But if there is a groundswell of voters on election day, elections staff are prepared.This seasons special election includes six propositions related to Californias budget crisis. They affect schools, early childhood education and mental health services; one makes changes to the state budget process; others impact the state lottery and the salaries of legislators.Statewide, many voters are voting in favor of Proposition 1F, preventing pay increases to elected officials during budget deficit years while voting no for the remaining ballot measures, Diaz said, who has followed state polls.All the polls Ive seen, that one is winning, Diaz said.This May, many early voters are choosing to drop off their ballots in the ballot box in front of the Rood Center, reducing traffic in the Elections Office, Diaz said.Of the 42 polling places in Nevada County, several have changed.To view polling locations, visit MyNevadaCounty.com; click on Clerk-Recorder andamp; Elections, then Elections Office, then Find Your Polling Place.If voters show up at the wrong polling place, they can vote provisionally, Diaz said.Were not going to turn anyone away, Diaz said.
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