Big turnout for South Shore |

Big turnout for South Shore

In the past, El Dorado County election official Diana Foster has read books to pass the time as she waited for voters to walk through the door.

Not this year.

South Lake Tahoe residents put on their winter coats and came out in force.

“We’ve stayed busy all day. We’ll top at least 50 percent of registered voters (in the 509 precinct),” said Foster, an official at the Al Tahoe Fire 6 polling location.

“It’s really exciting to see the flow of people come in today,” she said.

There are 900 people registered in Foster’s precinct, 20 percent of whom are expected to cast absentee ballots.

Voter turnout at Temple Bat Yam has also been higher than in years past. Officials also expect incoming ballots to exceed 50 percent.

South Shore Democrats overwhelmingly gave their support to presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore and the Democratic candidates in each category.

“I want to see the Clinton Administration legacy carry on and voting for Gore is the best way to accomplish that,” said one voter.

“Republican leadership would destroy all that Clinton and Gore have worked so hard for over the last eight years,” said another concerned Gore voter.

“I vote for Democrats even if I know nothing about them,” the voter continued.

The majority of Republican voters opted for Texas Gov. George Bush.

“I voted for Texas Governor George Bush because he’s the only true Republican front-runner in the race and I only vote for Republicans,” said another voter.

“Lake Tahoe needs Republican leadership to preserve our natural resources,” said a Republican voter

In state races, a high number of Democrats and Republicans voted for U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein. “She’s done a good job and she cares about California education,” said a Democratic voter.

There was no clear support behind the California Senate election. Voters named Assemblyman Thomas “Rico” Oller as the Republican they would select, but Democrats were unsure as to whom they would choose as the Democratic party candidate because they didn’t know much about them.

Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, one of two candidates in the California Assembly race was already guaranteed to appear on the November ballot with Placer County contract lobbyist Stephen A. Macola.

South Lake Tahoe voters have been apathetic in the past. Of El Dorado County’s 5th District 22,000 residents, only 8,500 were registered voters. In the 1998 election, less than half of those bothered to cast ballots.

This year there are 11,137 registered voters in the district, 40 percent Democrat, 34 percent Republican and 18 percent nonpartisan.

Tom Schafer, the election roving inspector for South Shore, said that most precincts ran relatively smooth with the exception of an occasional voter showing up at the wrong location.

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