Sovern Nation: Few Turning Out For Early Voting
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The polls opened Monday throughout California, though a very select few seemed to take an interest in early voting.
“I was the only one,” declared a man who identified himself only as Michael.
KCBS Doug Sovern Reporting:
In fact, during a three-hour period on Monday, Michael was the lone voter who showed up at San Francisco City Hall.
“To get it out of the way because I feel it’s important to do it quickly and I want to avoid the rush,” Michael reasoned.
All the same, he made it clear that he was rather uninspired by his choices on the 2010 ballot.
“Not particularly excited but I feel it’s important to vote.”
Despite what he considered to be a bland ballot, Michael brought unique perspective to the voting booth, after living in countries without such freedoms.
“I still think it’s important to vote,” he said. “I realize why many people would not want to vote because things seem to be getting worse and not better. But I’ve lived in countries where there was no vote and believe me, when you have no choice at all it’s far, far worse.”
He conceded there still could be a twist or two before all the votes were tallied.
“I’ve been watching elections for decades. And the patterns are pretty clear but there are surprises sometimes. Especially with these Tea Party people.”
It is that potential for an October surprise that often keeps Californians from casting early ballots.
Still, elections officials suggested there was a happy medium that would allow voters to watch all of the debates but still avoid the November 2 rush – voting by mail. In fact, more than half of Californians were expected to vote by mail this Autumn.
58% voted by mail in the June primary.
“It’s convenient for some people, if they can’t come on election day if they’re out of town,” offered poll worker Sandra Hsieh, who was prepared to hand out ballots at San Francisco City Hall. “They can do early voting.”
However, on the first day of early voting in what some have suggested would be a pivotal election, Hsieh sat idle at her post.
Despite the snail’s pace of early voting, few if any expected the candidates to rest on their laurels in the remaining weeks before Election Day. Campaigns throughout the state were expected to remain in overdrive through November 2.
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