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Lack of ballots, power outage present unique Election Night

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Residents of the Auburn Lake Trails subdivision in Cool weathered hours of waiting and a power outage in order to vote Tuesday night. William “Bill” Schultz, recorder-clerk and registrar of voters for El Dorado County Elections Office, said although the 300 ballots ordered for that area represented a 5 percent increase over last election’s ballot order, people seemed to “come out of the woodwork” after 5:30 p.m., using up the last of the paper documents. “We printed up additional ballots here,” Schultz said. “In (that) particular area, the power went out at 6:30 p.m., something like that (as well).” Schultz said the Elections Office used the Office of Emergency Services, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and two local fire districts to aid in getting the ballots to voters with the power still out. Schultz said he called every voting precinct and told them if voters showed up before 8 p.m., they could still vote after the polls closed their doors. Liz Hanley, a Gold Country Media employee who lives in the area, said she returned to the polls at 7:45 p.m. to see if the ballots had been delivered, but wasn’t able to vote until 9:15 p.m. “I have been voting there for years, and I have never seen anything like it,” Hanley said. Schultz said the Elections Office is definitely learning from the experience. “We are going to tweak all of our orders of course,” Schultz said. “You learn from things like this. If you don’t learn, you are stupid. So, we will definitely consider ordering more ballots next time.” ~Bridget Jones