One week remains before the June 5 primary, and county election coordinators are preparing for the big day.
Elections workers (from left) Cindy Niebla, Tarie Townsend and Lori Krein sort through absentee ballots Tuesday at the Tuolumne County Elections Office. Maggie Beck/Union Democrat, copyright 2012
In Tuolumne County on Tuesday, elections workers began sorting through absentee ballots — those that were mailed in early — while Calaveras County was training polling-place volunteers.
Tuolumne County and Calaveras County elections staff will continue processing mail-in ballots up through election night, with 8 p.m. Tuesday as the deadline to get them in. However, they urge absentee voters to get their ballots in earlier.
“If we can process more of them before Tuesday, the (preliminary) results are more accurate by Tuesday night,” June 5, explained Tuolumne County Registrar of Voters Deborah Russell.
Almost 70 percent of Tuolumne County voters cast their ballots by mail, a number that Russell said grows a little every year. In Calaveras County, 56 percent of voters send ballots in by mail, Calaveras Elections Coordinator Becky Andahl said in an email on Wednesday morning.
Andahl said voters should remember that postmarks are not considered when the elections offices receive the ballots.
“I would not advise anyone to mail their ballot any later than Thursday,” she stated.
The ballot will include multiple propositions, the presidential primary and state, federal and local elections.
May 21 was the last day to register to vote before the local election, and Tuesday was the last day to request an absentee ballot by mail. However, voters can still pick up a mail-in ballot in person.
Tuolumne County’s election office is located at 2 S. Green St., Sonora. Calaveras County’s elections office is at 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas.
The elections offices will accept and open the absentee ballots all week, and the Tuolumne County office will also be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday for voting.
On Sunday, Tuolumne County elections officials will begin running the ballots through the voting machines, though they will not begin to see the public counts until 8 p.m. Tuesday when polls close.
About a quarter of the mail-in ballots expected in Tuolumne County had arrived as of Tuesday, the same number for Calaveras County. Members of the public can observe the ballot processing, and two people were on hand Tuesday morning at the Tuolumne office.
In Tuolumne County, Russell said she will have about 120 volunteers on hand for election night including about a half dozen students from Summerville High School. Calaveras County elections office started training poll workers on Tuesday and will continue to do so this week.
As of Tuesday, Tuolumne County had 31,287 registered voters including 13,302 Republicans, 10,147 Democrats and 5,955 who did not state a party preference.
Though the most current data for Calaveras County shows 28,050 registered voters, with 12,036 Republicans, 8,797 Democrats and 5,185 without a party preference.