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Registration Deadline Nears For Would-Be California Voters

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Few Turning Out For Early Voting

(AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Across the Bay Area, like in so many other communities around California, an aggressive effort was launched to encourage adults to register to vote.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“Monday is the last day to register to vote,” declared Shannan Velayas, a spokesperson in the Secretary of State’s office.

According to Velayas, 17 million Californians were registered to vote. Still, she encouraged the millions of un-registered voters to consider joining those ranks, given the high stakes of the November 2010 election.

“California voters will be choosing their next governor and statewide elected officials, and the next person who represents them in the U.S. Senate. This is an important election.”

To be eligible to vote, a resident must be a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years old on Election Day; not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction; and not deemed by a court to be mentally incompetent to register and vote.

San Francisco elections officials sought to ease the stress for true procrastinators.

“If people really do wait until the last minute on Monday, then they can come to City Hall up until 8:00 p.m. and we’ll have someone there to accept their cards and we’ll make sure it gets date stamped,” advised San Francisco Director of Elections, John Arntz.

In fact, San Francisco City Hall was already buzzing with activity.

“We’ve been getting about 1,300 or so new voters a week for the past three weeks,” Arntz said. “And there’s been a lot more activity down at City Hall for the early voting.”

The reminder was echoed on the Peninsula, where San Mateo County elections officials encouraged residents to meet or beat the Monday deadline.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Chief Elections Officer Warren Slocum called the upcoming election “a critical election for California and for the people of San Mateo.”

Slocum stressed the importance of registering to vote because of the number of leadership positions on the Nov. 2 ballot, which included races for a member for the Board of Supervisors, a Treasurer-Tax Collector, and dozens of posts on city councils, school boards, and special districts.

More than a dozen local measures were also placed on the ballot.

Voters were required to re-register to vote if they moved, changed their name, or wished to change their political party affiliation in a Primary Election.

In addition to local elections offices, public libraries, city halls, post offices, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles offered voter registration cards, which could also be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/english.pdf.

An original signature is required on the registration card, which can be submitted in person or by mail, but must be postmarked on or before Oct. 18.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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