Valley Voters Line Up To Cast Ballots

January 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
If Fresno County voter registration is an indicator, there will be a record turnout for California's February 5th primary.The county elections office in downtown Fresno has been busy registering voters for weeks and with Tuesday's deadline it was crowded with folks still signing up and in some cases, actually voting.

Walter Patrick not only registered today he voted. He told us there was no reason to wait until February 5th. "Get it over with; don't have to go through any changes. My mind is already made up. When your mind's made up you do what you do, no playing' around."

The deadline to register may be over but if you are registered you can come in to vote at the elections office Monday through Saturday through February 5th when the polls close at 8 pm.

Fresno County Clerk Victor Salazar isn't surprised with the increased registration of 12,000 people over a year ago.

"There is no front runner in either party, it's a wide open race, it's very competitive," he says.

As the presidential campaign and its candidates continue the march to super Tuesday and California, here in the central valley Democrats will need to overcome Republican registration numbers.

Of the more than 675,000 currently registered voters in six counties:

  • 45% are Republican
  • 38.4% are Democrats
  • 13% are Independents
  • Only registered Republicans can cast ballots in that party's primary. While the Democratic party allows registered Independents or non-partisans to vote in theirs.

    Democrats do hold a 5% edge over Republicans in Merced County where Independents account for 12% of registered voters. It breaks down this way:

  • 45% are Democrats
  • 39% are Republican
  • 12.4 % are Independents
  • When the Post primary season arrives both parties will be courting all of the Independents in central California. Victor Salazar says the "declined to state or the Independents, there's the balance of power."

    Salazar expects a new record to be set in Fresno County with the most votes cast in a presidential primary and says: "California really, truly is in play in the Presidential primary."


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