Absentee voters go for the ballot box | TheUnion.com

Absentee voters go for the ballot box

Absentee voters poured in to the Nevada County elections office Monday afternoon to cast their ballots on the eve of the general election.

“I always vote absentee, and so does my wife,” said James Flowers of Nevada City. He is not alone.

About 44 percent of the state’s voters will do so by absentee ballot in this election, according to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson. Nevada County Clerk-Recorder Kathleen Smith will not know how many Nevada County absentee ballots were cast for several days, but the percentage has been above 50 percent for the last two major elections.

That has slowed the final election count in recent years and caused some close calls to stay that way for days after the election. For this election, Smith has been scanning absentee ballots as they have come in; those results will be available shortly after 8 p.m., Smith said.

Absentee ballots also can be cast from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. today at any polling place or at the elections office at 10433 Willow Valley Rd., Suite E, Nevada City. Those absentee ballots will be counted last, Smith said.

The first absentee ballots to be counted will be from Grass Valley and Nevada City, Smith said, “so we can have some results” on the cities’ Measure S and T sales tax proposals to improve streets, and on Grass Valley’s City Council race.

Turnout predicted

at 55 percent

Smith would make no voter turnout predictions for today’s general election, but McPherson foresaw 55 percent of California’s registered voters casting ballots.

A high profile race for the area’s United States House of Representatives seat, between incumbent Republican John Doolittle and Democrat challenger Charlie Brown, could boost the vote here, along with the city sales tax measures.

Voters going to the polls can choose to use the new electronic voting system, but they don’t have to.

“Everyone will be offered a paper ballot at the polls,” Smith said. “Those folks who want to use the touch screen will have to ask for it.”

Smith said things were going smoothly coming into today’s election. She also said only one person had chosen to recast his or her ballot after voter information pamphlets about measures S and T were mixed up last month.


To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail davem@theunion.com or call 477-4237.

Election Day


• Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

• Call the Nevada County elections office at 265-1298 if you don’t know where to vote or have questions.

• If you are disabled and need a ride to vote, call Gold Country Telecare at 272-1710.

For an interactive map of polling places,



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