Voter Turnout Low in Kings County

February 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
This year Kings County is relying totally on paper ballots after the California Secretary of State deemed certain electronic voting machines not secure.While election workers prepare to count each ballot one by one they tell Action News there are fewer people out voting than originally expected.

A steady stream of voters came and went from the Kings County elections office on Tuesday, but officials say things were not as busy compared to years past.

Ken Baird, Kings County Elections, says "This one's been kind of disappointing because we've not had a lot of people show up today. So, I think our turnout's going to be light unless we see an awful lot come in after 5pm."

Election workers spent the day sorting some of the 11,000 absentee or mail-in ballots that came in so far.

Baird says about half of registered voters in Kings County are mail-in or absentee voters. But not many have turned in their ballots.

He hopes there will be more people like Cristina Rico coming in before 8pm, when the polls close. "I think a lot of people are waiting till the last minute because they might be at school or at work but hopefully towards the evening more people will come in," says Rico, a mail-in voter.

Over at the county's ballot drop-off location election worker Ernest Molina has a more positive spin on voter turnout. "It's going pretty good, real good its picking up."

Kings County election workers will have the help of a couple ballot counters, and disabled voters are allowed to vote on the electronic voting machines. Otherwise, workers expect Tuesday night's counting process to be a lot longer than usual. They don't expect to have any final results until at least 2am.


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