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Mail-in ballots up

City: Votes have already surpassed those from 2008; counting starts Tuesday night

Posted: April 11, 2010 11:24 p.m.
Updated: April 12, 2010 4:55 a.m.

City employee volunteers Debra Doria, left, and Lorrie Vavrek prepare some of the estimated 8,000 - as of Thursday evening - vote-by-mail ballots for counting after the polls close Tuesday night.

 
Santa Clarita voters are on pace to mail in more ballots for the City Council election — but just barely.

As of Thursday, the city had already received 8,286 votes — 151 more votes that the city got five days before the election in 2008, said Kevin Tonoian, the city’s technology services manager.

Voters sent in fewer than 10,000 mail-in votes during the last election, according to 2008 election results.

In one week alone, from March 31 to April 6, the city was sent more than 1,000 ballots.

And all of the ballots the city gets are being sorted by city officials according to voting precinct, which speeds up the time it takes to count the votes on election night.

None of the mail-in votes is actually counted until after the polls close Tuesday night, Tonoian said.

But even though the number of people sending in votes has increased, the cost to run the election has remained about the same.

It costs the city between $175,000 and $200,000, plus staff time, to run the election, which is roughly the same cost for past elections, Tonoian said.

Santa Clarita gets reimbursed by the state for the cost of mailing ballots almost 21,000 voters and for the time it takes officials to count the votes that are returned to the city, he said.

Ballots need to be received by the city clerk before 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Mail-in ballots can be dropped off at any polling station in the city on election day or dropped off at the City Clerk’s Office before polls close, Tonoian said.

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