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Vote-by-mail on upswing in SCV

• City Clerk's office receives 1,200 more votes so far than 2006 election.

Posted: April 6, 2008 11:29 p.m.
Updated: June 8, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Voting for Tuesday's Santa Clarita City Council election is already well underway.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, the City Clerk's office has received 8,428 ballots, about 1,200 more than the city received by election day in 2006.

Voters will decide by Tuesday which of the five candidates will fill the Council's two expiring seats.

Council members serve four-year terms and the city holds an election every two years to fill the expiring seats.

The City Clerk's office has sent 18,787 vote-by-mail ballots out to the voters who requested them.

"We still have over 10,000 we would just love to get back," said City Clerk Sharon Dawson.

Voters who have received vote-by-mail ballots can still hand-deliver the ballots at the City Clerk's office on or before Tuesday or hand in the ballot at the polls on election day.

Voting by mail accounted for more than 60 percent of the approximately 12,000 ballots cast in the 2006 election. This year's influx of pre-election ballots also reflects an overall shift in voting practices, said Gail Ortiz, spokeswoman for the city.

"Voting is no longer just about standing in a voting booth and I think it's a trend that we're going to see even more," she said. "We believe that people are looking for ways to simplify their life. They want to vote from the comfort of their own homes. People like the idea of doing it conveniently and not having to be somewhere at a certain day and time."

She said several years ago the city changed the term ‘absentee' to ‘vote-by-mail' because voters assumed they had to meet special requirements to be able to vote absentee.

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