http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2008/05/23/in-some-precincts-its-mail-vote-only


Mountain View Voice

News - May 23, 2008

In some precincts, it's mail vote only

County shutters six local polling places due to lack of voters

by Casey Weiss

Reacting to the trend of more and more people voting by mail, the county registrar is closing six Mountain View polling places during next month's primary elections.

A specific neighborhood, or "precinct," must have 250 registered voters — not including those who have signed up to vote by mail — before it can have a polling place. In Mountain View, six precincts failed to qualify, and now residents from those precincts must all vote by mail. That leaves 33 precincts remaining with open polling places.

One Mountain View precinct, east of where Springer and El Monte roads meet, has more than 416 registered voters. But since 271 of those voters plan to vote permanently by mail, there will be no polling center there on June 3, when Mountain View residents vote on a local parcel tax, state propositions and the Democratic primary for state Assembly.

"That leaves 145 people, and we are not going to have a polling center for that," said Ray Johnson, county precinct planning specialist.

The number of people in Santa Clara County who vote by mail has slowly increased following a campaign by the county Registrar of Voters to get more residents to abandon their polling place, according to Elma Rosas, spokesperson for the registrar's office. Voting officials must decide how to consolidate polling places at least six weeks before each election, she said.

Specific data about Mountain View was not available, but Rosas said that county-wide, 266 polling centers were mail ballot precincts during the 2004 presidential election, compared to 289 during the February presidential primary election and 347 in June.

"It depends on the elections," Rosas said. "February was a presidential primary election. Now there are a lot of local things on the ballot."

CLOSED PRECINCTS:

The following six Mountain View precincts are mail-only in the June 3 primary election. Voters in these precincts will not have a physical polling place. Precinct boundaries are described using the best information provided by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

• East of where El Monte and Springer roads connect, toward Sunnyvale

• The intersection of Grant Road and Chatham Way to Katrina Way and to Preston Drive

• The intersection of Grant Road and Bryant to Highway 85 and to the border of Los Altos and Mountain View

• Space Park Area across Highway 101

• The intersection of El Camino Real and Calderon to Dana Street to Bush Street

• The border of Mountain View and Sunnyvale off El Camino Real toward Sylvan Avenue

E-mail Casey Weiss at cweiss@mv-voice.com

Comments

Posted by Darin, a resident of another community
on May 25, 2008 at 11:06 am

For those who want to vote in person, it should be possible to go to the polling place of a nearby precinct. However, your ballot may be considered provisional (not counted until they verify that you aren't trying to vote more than once).


Posted by Election Day mourner, a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2008 at 11:12 am

Is it me, or does mail-in voting change the whole concept of Election Day? Why is the Registrar pushing for this, to save money? It's a shame, because going to the polls brings neighbors together and makes us a community.