California Voters Have Big Impact On Presidential Race

February 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
One of the most closely-watched states is California, where a total of 540 delegates are up for grabs.So far, there are no reports of widespread voting problems in California, only sporadic ones.

Some polling places opened late or had too few volunteers showing up for duty.

In some precincts, decline-to-state voters (otherwise known as Independent voters) who asked for a Democratic ballot were erroneously told they couldn't do that.

In California, the Democratic Primary is an open primary, and decline-to-state voters can ask for a Democratic ballot.

Minor problems aside, this election is expected to have a record turnout, with the Golden State finally able to influence the Presidential Primary with an earlier voting day.

Results in our state are expected to be reported later than usual. One of the reasons? Absentee, or mail-in ballots which could account for 40% of turnout, are more time consuming to count.

Debra Bowen, Ca Secretary Of State, says "They will be longer to process. That's because the signature on each absentee ballot is actually compared to the signature on file at the county. So they take longer to process than a ballot that is voted at the polling place."

The other reason may be because many counties are using paper ballots again, which have to be fed manually into scanners.

The state decertified the vast majority of electronic voting machines last year due to vulnerability to tampering and defects.

The first results showing up just after 8:00 when the polls closed are typically some of the early counting of absentee ballots.


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