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Early voters line up to cast ballots before Election Day

November 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A steady stream of early voters lined up at the Norwalk headquarters of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Monday to cast their ballots before the crowds on Election Day.

Since early voting started Oct. 27, the L.A. County Registrar's Office says 11,880 ballots have been cast.

"I heard that Election Day is super crazy on the day of," said Cameron Nettles of Cerritos.

In the last presidential election, there was a record turnout of 82 percent in L.A. County. Officials say this election is expected to also have high voter turnout.

"It's probably not going to reach what it was in 2008, but certainly what we saw this weekend, and what we've seen with people voting through the mail, indicates there's a great deal of interest in this election," said County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan.

This campaign year, there were over 1.5 million vote-by-mail ballots, and 42 percent have already been returned.

"It's really intense. It's really up to people to take the initiative and vote," said Sarah Francisco of Rancho Palos Verdes.

National polls show the presidential race is in a dead heat. For Eleanor Jones of Los Angeles, casting her ballot isn't just about choosing a candidate, but about exercising a hard-earned right.

"I'm from the era, the sit-in era, and people paid a lot for this opportunity," she said. "We were beaten sometimes. I have a scar that I bear from having been beaten ... it would be almost death not to do this."

But even in close presidential races, Ventura County picks the winner better than anyone else. Since Warren Harding in 1920, Ventura County voters have cast their ballots, and the presidential candidate that won Ventura County has won every election but one in 92 years. That's 23 out of 24.

The only blemish on an otherwise perfect record was when Ventura County picked Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Polls will be open at 7 a.m. on Election Day.


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