Voters return to polls soon |

Voters return to polls soon

William Ferchland

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune/ El Dorado County election official Bob Boone watches South Lake Tahoe resident Benita Montenegro signs in to vote last Tuesday.

The next election in El Dorado County is seven months away, involves a sizable ballot and will introduce electronic ballot machines.

The new voting system will feature an optical scan machine.

Ballots will be on a larger piece of paper. Voters will fill in their choices in booths and run the ballot through the optical scan machine, said Registrar of Voters William Schultz.

Schultz said he’s looking into the legality of electronically transmitting Tahoe ballots to the main elections office in Placerville. He said the machines should shave the time Tahoe residents wait for election results.

For South Lake Tahoe voters, June’s ballot already has a variety of choices.

“It seems everyone and their brother is up,” said Schultz, who is also up for re-election and plans to run.

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California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will seek her eighth term while Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will campaign for re-election. Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, is term-limited out, and three candidates have announced intentions to run for the seat held by one of the longest-tenured politicians in Sacramento.

June is when top elected county positions go before voters. The county supervisor seat representing South Lake Tahoe will return to the ballot for the second time in less than a year.

Norma Santiago, one of four candidates who ran when Dave Solaro left before his term expired, is the apparent winner after the Nov. 8 election. The official tally will be announced at the end of the week, Schultz said.

Santiago said she will seek re-election.

Others holding county positions said they will run again. Out of the eight elected positions, only Surveyor Dan Russell could not be reached for comment.

Two positions on the law enforcement side will be contested. Sheriff Jeff Neves announced he will seek a second term. He will face Sgt. Larry Hennick, his opponent from the previous election.

District Attorney Gary Lacy is gunning for his fourth term after a tough battle with Deputy District Attorney Erik Schlueter in 2002. Schlueter, who is now in private practice, said he decided not to run.

Vern Pierson, a prosecutor with the Amador County District Attorney’s Office, said he intends to challenge Lacy for the position.

County Assessor Tim Holcomb, whose office handles appraising all taxable property in county including boats and houses, is aiming for a second term.

“I enjoy my job,” he said. “Obviously it’s a challenge. I have some goals I want to make a reality.”

Joe Harn, who has been the county’s auditor-controller since 1994, wants another four years to be the chief bookkeeper for the county.

Superintendent of Schools Vicki Barber is also running.

“I believe that the county office has continued to provide leadership and service to school districts throughout the county, and it is my desire to maintain and enhance further that direction and those services,” she stated by e-mail.

C.L. Raffety also wants to keep going at her job of the county treasurer-tax collector, a post she’s held since 1985.

Preliminary list of elected offices and districts up for June 2006 election

— California Senator Dianne Feinstein

— Congressman John Doolittle

— Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

— 4th Assembly District held by Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, who is term-limited out

— El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, District 5

— Tim Holcomb, El Dorado County assessor

— Joe Harn, El Dorado County auditor-controller

— Gary Lacy, district attorney

— William Schultz, recorder-clerk-registrar of voters

— Jeff Neves, sheriff

— Dan Russell, surveyor

— Vicki Barber, superintendent of schools

— C.L. Raffety, treasurer-tax collector

Timeline for potential candidates for June 2006 election

— Dec. 31 – First day the petitions-in-lieu are available for the primary

— Jan. 3 – Last day candidates can register with a new party to run in the June 2006 Primary

— Jan. 9 – Governor’s Proclamation issued for June 2006 Primary

— Feb. 13 – First day of nomination period

— Feb. 23 – Last day to file for signature filing fees

— March 10 – Last day to file declaration to run

— March 30 – Certified list of candidates issued

Source: El Dorado County Department of Elections