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Sample ballots to be sent soon

County has over 100,000 absentee voters
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County registered voters can expect to see the sample ballot pamphlet for the June 2012 presidential primary in their mailboxes soon. The sample ballots are scheduled to be mailed out on April 26 and the election is June 5. Vote-by-mail ballots will be mailed on May 7, according to Jim McCauley, Placer County clerk-recorder-registrar of voters. McCauley said the office receives most of the ballots closer to the June 5 deadline. “We mail everything on one day. About 16 percent will vote that ballot within 72 hours of receiving it,” McCauley said. “We get another 25 to 28 percent during the period before the last weekend and I would say about 30 percent of the ballots come in election day.” McCauley also implemented a vote-by-mail trapping system in the county that is the only one in the state. Any ballots that are placed in mailboxes prior to 4 p.m. on election day are collected, separated and counted in the vote. Prior to the trapping program, he said any ballot that was still in the mail at 8 p.m. on election night was not counted. About 600 to 3,000 ballots are collected through the trapping program each election. Currently, 112,818 people registered to vote in the county do so by permanent vote-by-mail ballots. McCauley said in recent years he has noticed trends in the political parties in Placer County have shifted. “The biggest trend I have seen over the last three to four years is more people are voting decline to state,” McCauley said. He said most of those voters were probably previously Republicans, for which the rate has gone from 54 percent to 47 percent of the county’s voters. Twenty-nine percent of voters in the county are Democrats. McCauley said citizens can vote provisionally even if they haven’t registered prior to election day. He said anyone who walks into a polling place and presents a registration card will be considered a provisional voter. The county will verify them and present the votes to the court for a final decision. Kevin Hanley, city of Auburn councilman, said he and his wife are registered to vote by mail permanently. He said voting by mail allows him more opportunity for careful consideration and dialogue. “I like getting all the information provided in the sample ballot, anything sent to us, and sitting down at the kitchen table and I also discuss it with my wife,” Hanley said. “We have a discussion and we can change each other’s mind based on what our views are.” He said occasionally they do split their vote, though. In the upcoming election he said he is looking forward to voting on Measure A to decided if Auburn will become a charter city. He is also interested in learning more about a proposition that would extend term limits for the state legislature. “It looks like the Republican primary is essentially over on the Republican side and Democratic side — not a competing choice there,” Hanley said. “I’ll be interested in proposition 28, term limits of state legislature.” Mick Currie, 52, of Auburn, said the June primary will mark a milestone in his life. “I believe this will be the first year I will ever vote,” Currie said. He said he has grown so concerned about the direction the country is going in that he realized it was time to get involved in the political process. “When I see who we are choosing between, I wonder if we can do better,” Currie said of the pool of nominees who may be on the presidential ballot in November. “I would like to see us (Auburn) do a charter.” Reach Sara Seyydin @sara_seyedin@yahoo.com, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.