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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Orange County ballots trickle in as one unaffiliated voter reports problem

Posted by on Tue, May 4, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Orange County Board of Elections Chairwoman Tracy Reams says it’s quiet at her office this Election Day, though she’s still hoping to eclipse the 13.25 percent turnout mark in the 2006 primary, the last mid-year tally.

“Things started out slow but it’s been picking up,” she said. “It’s steady but not very busy. We’re hoping that between 5 and 7:30 things will start picking up.”

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Reams’s office did receive one report from an unaffiliated voter who says poll workers at Lincoln Center told her she could only vote in the judicial races. Voters aren’t registered with the Democrats or Republicans get to choose to vote in either primary.

“They just handed me the very short judicial ballot,” said the woman, who did not want to be named. “I said, ‘Don’t I get to pick one or the other?’ and they said, “No it’s just an internal primary thing,’ so I accepted that sadly.”

Reams says that all poll workers attended a training session that explained the rules for independent voters and said residents should question the chief judge at their polling site or call her directly (245-2350) if they experience any problems.

Unfortunately, now that the Lincoln Center voter put her ballot in the box, there’s nothing that can be done to retrieve it, and she can’t vote twice. That means she weigh in on the Orange County Commissioner or sheriff races.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. and the board of elections will release early voting results then. Reams says 2,420 ballots were cast at the Morehead Planetarium and at her office during the one-stop voting period, more than double the 2006 total. She expects to release the first precinct results at 7:45 p.m.

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