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Thousands wait to get mail-in ballots

October 30, 2008 7:49:29 AM PDT
A lot of people who requested a mail-in ballot are still waiting to get theirs due to a pre-election rush.According to the L.A. Times, about 13,000 voters are still waiting to get their ballots, and the county registrar's office said it doesn't expect to have the rest of the mail-in ballots out in the mail by Friday, the day they're supposed to be back in the mail filled out. That means thousands of voters will have to drop off their ballots at a polling place or hand deliver it to the county registrar's office in Norwalk.

"The voters who get their ballots later in the process just need to know that they need to drop off their ballot either here at our office or at a polling place on Election Day because it does have to be back to us before the polls close on Tuesday," said Dean Logan from the L.A. County Registrar.

Logan said the delay is simply due to sheer volume. The deadline to request a ballot was Tuesday night, so last-minute applications are still being processed.

About 23 percent of L.A. County's record 4.3 million registered voters, or about 1 million people, requested a mail-in ballot.

Early voting is underway right now to accommodate for the record number of registered voters.

L.A. County is the nation's largest voting district. Voter turnout could beat the 76 percent turnout from 2004, so bring your sample ballot and your patience.

Early voters wait in long lines in Norwalk, but some of them would rather stand than put their trust in the postal service for this historic election.

"The postal system does a great job, but I decided not to put my trust in the postal system. I'd rather do it in person," said early voter Ken Morris. Early voter Erika Beavers said she wants to make sure that her vote counts.

"I normally mail in my ballot, and it didn't even come in the mail, so that's why I came out here today, I have to bring my ID and get in line for them to even print me out one so I can vote today," Beavers said.

Another early voter Paul Kling said he got in line around 7:30 a.m.

"That's not bad, you know, it doesn't bother me to wait in line. We've done it before," he said.

You can check your registration status online or call (800) 815-2666. There are 220 operators fielding calls, but they're fielding about 18,000 calls a day. Check your registration status on lavote.net

Here are some mail-in-voting tips:

  • Mail in ballots no later than Friday
  • After Friday, ballots should be hand-delivered to the registrar's office
  • Voters can drop completed ballots off on Election Day at any polling place

Eyewitness News Reporters Melissa MacBride and Leslie Sykes contributed to this report.


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