What to Expect at the Polls

Monterey Bay Area – Long lines are likely this Election Day and could be made longer by the long ballots. Beyond the Presidential Election, Central Coast voters have to decide on twelve statewide measures, as well as a number of local measures and local candidates for everything from City Council to Airport Board.

Santa Cruz County voters will have a one sheet, two sided ballot, and in Monterey County the candidates and issues spill onto two ballot sheets. "Spending a length of time in the voting booth is going to be something that impacts Election Day. So be prepared, study your sample ballot pamphlet. Pre-mark your choices on your sample ballot and bring that with you to the polls so you know what you're doing," said Monterey County Registrar of Voters Linda Tulett.

If you registered to vote by mail, but still have your ballot, do not drop it in the mail. Elections Officials have to receive your ballot by 8 o'clock tonight. This leaves you with a couple of options. You can vote at your polling place if you turn in your mail-in ballot, or you can return your completed mail-in ballot to any polling place in your county. If you have misplaced your mail-in ballot, you can vote by provisional ballot.

"We need to make sure that they didn't return their original ballot so people aren't voting twice. It is a useful tool to make sure that people's whose eligibility cannot be 100% determined at the time they show up to vote, to give them a mechanism to vote. That we can then research during the canvas," said Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin. Provisional ballots are also options for voters who believe they are registered to vote, but don't appear on the rolls. Or for voters who show up at the wrong polling place, and insist on voting there. In that case, if you choose to vote provisional, you could miss out on voting on some issues local to your neighborhood. Your polling place is printed on the back of your sample ballot and you can also find it at your county elections web site.

For local, state and national results stayed tuned to KAZU's and NPR's special coverage of the election. It all begins at 4:00 o'clock Tuesday evening on 90.3 KAZU.