Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat

Most voters in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties will be able to cast their votes in the Nov. 6 election this week, with tens-of-thousands of absentee ballots sent out Tuesday.

About 70 percent of registered voters in Tuolumne County, and about 62 percent in Calaveras County, will vote by mail in this election, according to the county elections offices, following a national trend of absentee voting.

In Tuolumne County, the Elections Office mailed ballots to at least 21,974 of the 31,399 registered voters. Calaveras County Elections Office has sent out ballots to at least 17,780 of the 28,470 registered voters.

The numbers will likely increase because elections offices will accept applications for mail-in voting through Oct. 30.

Registered voter figures could also change before the election because the final day to register is Oct. 22.

As of Wednesday morning, the number of registered voters in Tuolumne County was about 2,267 less than the November 2008 election, and the number of registered voters in Calaveras County was up by about 82 people.

The Tuolumne County Elections Office did not have a breakdown of voters by party for the November 2008 election, but there were 13,896 Republicans, 11,389 Democrats and 5,150 people without a party preference during the June 2008 primary election.

The number of registered Republicans has decreased by about 508 people and Democrats by about 1,250people. The number of voters claiming no party preference has increased by about 838 people.

As of Wednesday morning, Calaveras County had 132 fewer Republicans and 799 fewer Democrats than the November 2008 election. No party preference registrations increased by 630 voters.

The remaining voters in the counties are affiliated with the minor parties: Libertarian,

Green, American Independence or Peace and Freedom.

Voters in both counties will cast ballots for the President of the United States, a U.S. Senate rate, the 4th District representative in the U.S. House and 5th District California State Assemblyman.

Tuolumne County races include county Board of Supervisors Districts 1 and 5, 11 public school board seats, and positions in the Tuolumne Utilities District, Lake Don Pedro Community Services District and Columbia Fire District.

Southern Tuolumne County voters will vote on Measure G, a Groveland Community Services District parcel tax to support emergency medical services. In the Summerville Union High School District, Measure H, an $8 million school-improvement bond, will appear on the ballot. Those living within the boundaries of the Sonora Union High School District will vote on Measure J, a $23 million bond for improvements to Sonora High.