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Slow going at local precincts, but there's plenty of time

November 06, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

For voters like David Weaver, getting out to the polls today is no problem.

"It's first thing in the morning and I only live a block away," Weaver, 63, said after casting his ballot at the Conrad Harrison Youth Center in El Centro.

Weaver may have been the exception.

As of 7:30 a.m., the inspector at the youth center, Eddie Galindo, said Weaver was only the sixth person to vote in the half-hour the precinct had been open.

"It's a little slow," Galindo, who has been doing precinct work for six years, said.

People are usually waiting and ready to come in right at 7 a.m., Galindo said.

"They've just been coming in one at a time," he said of the trickle of voters so far this morning.

Because this is a small election, Galindo said, it isn't surprising that there aren't throngs of eager voters breaking down the door.

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Shirley Hellum, the inspector at the El Centro Community Center polling place, had seen a similarly small turnout by 7:45 this morning.

"It's a slow one," she said.

Hellum and the three women working with her said they expected more people later in the day.

"They usually start showing up around noon and 3 (p.m.)," Hellum said.

"A lot of our voters work next door and come over on their lunch breaks," Hellum said of nearby Washington Elementary School.

In Brawley, at the public library, things seemed to be par for the course, according to one of the workers at that polling site. Though things were moving slowly, they were expected to pick up.

Officials are expecting a light turnout countywide.

"We're hoping we get 25 percent," said Dolores Provencio, Imperial County clerk-recorder-registrar of voters.

"If it's higher, we'll be really excited," Provencio said.

Despite being a relatively small election, the votes are no less significant.

"It's really important that the voters get out and let their vote be known," she said.

Some of the bigger races include those for El Centro City Council and school boards in El Centro, Brawley, Imperial and Holtville.

>>Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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