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Voters rush to meet absentee deadline

October 31, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many early voters rushed to meet the absentee ballot deadline on Friday.The number of early voters is unprecedented. After years of apathy voters are stacked up and waiting.

"We are lined up. Normally, I am from Compton, we never have to line up out there. Since this election came about we have to line up on this one here," said early voter, Frank Lawson.

"It did not take much work, but I have been here for three hours," said an early voter.

A drive to get out to vote is in full force.

Brenda March Mitchell, with the L.A. Sentinel, is bringing people in by the bus load.

"Some folks are handicap and some people have never voted before. Some people do not know where Norwalk is," said Mitchell.

She is undeterred by the growing crowds.

"Yesterday alone I went through it five times, and we've been doing it for three weeks," said Mitchell.

To improve the flow they have added more voting booths. There were 50 booths on Thursday and 70 by Friday.

But adding more booths will not necessarily eliminate the backlog. It is the verification process before voting that is time consuming: matching your signature, then depending on where you live which form you should get.

There are 706 different ballots.

"We'll be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday we will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then regular business hours on Monday," said Dean Logan, L.A. County Registrar's Office.

Brenda March Mitchell says she will be there as well.

"I feel like Harriet Tuckman. We are all part of history and I feel wonderful for that," said Mitchell.

Election officials throughout California have added poll workers, ordered extra ballots and urged people to vote early in a presidential race they say has drawn extreme interest.


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