Voters come in droves on last day to register
October 20, 2008
A steady stream of eligible voters poured into county offices in South Lake Tahoe on Monday, the last day for Californians to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election.
Between 50 and 60 people stopped by the El Dorado County Recorder-Clerk’s South Lake Tahoe office to register to vote, said Mary Van Buskirk, a staff member with the county office.
Van Buskirk added that 200 voter registration forms were dropped off from people canvassing town to register more eligible voters.
Melody Halverson, one of the many people who stopped by the clerk’s office, said she took time during her lunch break to register. She works in activities at a timeshare, and the election has been the main topic of conversation at her workplace.
The election is a historic one, with an African-American as the Democratic presidential nominee for the first time, and a woman as Republican vice presidential nominee, Halverson said.
Others registered so they could have their say in decisions affecting the nation.
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“This is the most important election in my lifetime,” Bryan Johnson said. “There’s a lot of issues, and I have to at least give my opinion.”
Johnson has voted in the last five presidential elections, and said he needed to re-register because he recently moved.
Eligible voters in California had to make sure their registration forms were hand-delivered or postmarked to the county elections office 15 days before the election.
So far, 108,866 people are registered to vote in El Dorado County, said William Schultz, county registrar of voters.
Of those voters, 31.12 percent are registered Democrats, 45.18 are registered Republicans, and 18.89 percent are nonpartisan.
In Nevada, the voter registration deadline already had passed, but to get a start on the unprecedented voter turnout that’s expected Nov. 4, Douglas County started early voting polls Saturday.
Saturday’s early voter count was more than 40 percent of the total number of early voters for the primary election, with 1,174 voters casting ballots so far.
During the primary election, 2,704 voters cast ballots early.
Early voting will continue in Douglas County, and all precincts may vote at any location during early voting.
At the lake, early voting will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Tahoe Transportation Center.
Schultz said El Dorado County doesn’t have polling places for early voting, but voters can vote at the elections office in Placerville before Nov. 4, or by mail with a mail-in ballot.