Thursday May 17 2012
Register to vote by Monday
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
Bipartisanship and economy on some voters? minds
Placer County residents have until the stroke of midnight Monday to register to vote in the June 5 presidential primary election. Even with a traditionally high voter turnout, Placer County Office of Elections Officials say they are doing all they can to get last-minute voters registered and offered tips on how voters could protect themselves from registration fraud. Auburn-area voters say they are looking forward to casting their votes to implement change. Jim McCauley, Placer County clerk-recorder-registrar of voters announced in a press release earlier this week that the office will offer weekend and holiday hours to process vote-by-mail requests and issue vote-by-mail ballots. It will be open on May 26, 27 and 28, as well as June 2 and 3. ?This department is always looking for ways to be more accessible to voters of the county. That is why I began weekend service more than 15 years ago,? McCauley said. ?We hope weekend hours enable even more people to take advantage of vote-by-mail voting and have their voices heard.? In light of recent voter registration fraud in Sacramento County, where thousands of inaccurate voter registration cards were submitted and some people?s political party was allegedly changed to Republican against their wishes by Momentum Political Services, Ryan Ronco, assistant clerk-registrar, said there are steps Placer County voters can take to prevent similar fraud from happening to their registration. ?If they see somebody that is at the mall or at a grocery store asking people to register, they have the right to ask that person for a registration card and they don?t have to leave it with that person,? Ronco said. If the person registering voters does not have enough registration cards they don?t have to give one out, but Ronco said people can still pick one up at the office of elections or print one online and mail or return it to the election office. The office?s website has a feature allowing voters to confirm their registration and political party. Ronco said there probably won?t be an influx of ballots on the registration deadline Monday. ?All in all, it?s not overwhelming. Most people have been receiving political mail or seeing ads in TV or hearing them in the radio, so they are aware the election is coming up and they have already sent in their voter registration card,? Ronco said. ?We will see a little ramp up if political parties or local measures are trying to get last minute voter registration.? He said the office is expecting a 50 to 55 percent voter turnout rate in the presidential primary because many of the state propositions have been moved to the November ballot and the presidential candidates are fairly settled by each party already. The turnout has been as high as 65 percent during primaries. Placer County often has the highest voter turnout or ranks in the top three compared to other counties in the state of the same size. ?Voters here in Placer County as a whole tend to be very engaged and very active, so we are going to see that reflected in our turnout numbers,? Ronco said. John Ryan, of Georgetown, is one registered voter who says he is engaged in the process. He said he would like to see officials elected who will work together to make compromises. ?Change in our representatives right now because they are not doing the job or getting the job done. We are in all kinds of problems,? Ryan said, ?Let?s get some people in there that will do it right. It?s going to have to be ones that will be able to make bargains or deals both ways. Compromise is the word.? Brian Joyner, of Foresthill, is a registered voter and has lived in the county for 20 years. Joyner is currently in the process of opening a restaurant in Foresthill and said the economy and jobs will be on his mind as he heads to the polls. The most recent presidential election was particularly interesting, he said. ?Obama was interesting. You know, the first black president and the whole change thing, which I don?t know if that really happened,? Joyner said. For other voters Joyner said he has a simple message. ?Vote even if you think it doesn?t work,? Joyner said. ?At least you are trying? Reach Sara Seyydin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News. _______________________________________________________ Placer County Office of Elections Extended Hours When: May 26, 27 and June 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For questions contact the Placer County Office of Elections at (530) 886-5650, or visit www.placerelections.com.