Officials hopeful for turnout today |

Officials hopeful for turnout today

Susan Wood

El Dorado County election officials expect a turnout that may top 50 percent – lower than most general elections but higher than other special ones.

In a county that averages a better-than-most set of turnouts including absentees, the prediction proves big candidates and big issues drive voter response. During today’s election, voters will decide on two initiatives regarding the general plan and the continuation of South Lake Tahoe library funding into the next decade.

Almost half of the 42,000 absentees sent out have been returned, El Dorado County election official Joe Zitzelberger reported Monday. This figure alone will account for at least a 20 percent turnout.

“We’re hoping to get a 40 to 50 percent turnout,” Zitzelberger said.

During last November’s general election, absentees accounted for 32.5 percent of the 82.6 percent total turnout. Measure L’s school parcel tax got about half the number of South Lake Tahoe voters to the polls.

The recall election of former Gov. Gray Davis brought out a 74.6 percent return in the county. Special elections in the last seven years have ranged from 23.9 percent to 43.4 percent.

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