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Election turnout average

March 05, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

Election officials were estimating this morning that there would be an average turnout by Imperial County voters for today's elections.

Imperial County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Dolores Provencio said officials are expecting 35 to 45 percent of 48,335 registered voters in the Imperial County to participate in today's elections. She said the estimate is about the same statewide.

She added that prediction is similar to previous elections, although this election day has a slight increase in registered voters.

She also said the county added 60 mail precincts to the 10 existing ones. Two new voting precincts have been added, for a countywide total of 76.

She said the county lost some polling places because the organization or place that provided the location was unable to do so for various reasons. That has forced some polling places to house two or three precincts.

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The Conrad Harrison Youth Center in central El Centro is one of those polling places that will house two precincts for this election.

Eddie Galindo, a retired Immigration and Naturalization Service worker, said he expects the center to be a bit more busy that usual because of the extra precinct.

"It'll be interesting to see how these two precincts go," he said.

Galindo is in charge of one of the precincts at the youth center. He has worked at the polling place for six years.

He said the majority of people start to come in between 9 and 10 a.m. About 10 voters had already voted in his precinct by about 7:30 a.m.

At a precinct across the city in the First Christian Church in west El Centro, 22 people had already voted by 7:45 this morning.

Caroline Rodriguez, a retired housewife, said there were some voters lined up before the polls opened at 7 this morning. Rodriguez has been working with the polling place for the past three years. She says she does it because she enjoys it.

"I love to work in the elections. I always look forward to it because I like meeting new people and working with my friends," she said.

At the First Christian polling center, Adam Cassius, an accountant, told a reporter he enjoys voting.

"I always vote. I feel like it's a civic duty. It's very important," he said.

Barbara Yates, an office manager, said voting is important.

"If you don't vote you can't complain," she said.

Ruben Sandoval, a service station attendant, also said voting is crucial.

"Every election is important. It's important that the person elected do their duty for the good of the community," he said.

Provencio reminded voters who don't know where their precinct is to check the back of their sample ballots that were mailed to them. Polls will close at 8 p.m.

For questions or more information call the county Elections Office at 482-4226.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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