Aside from a couple of minor incidents at polling places in Garden Grove and Tustin, voting appeared to be going smoothly Tuesday in Orange County, where turnout may exceed 2008, which was the best in recent memory.
As of 3 p.m., 19.1 percent of Orange County’s 1,541,386 registered voters had cast a ballot. The county’s 1,093 polling places opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.
Combining the day-of-election participation Tuesday with vote-by-mail balloting, and it could amount to 75 percent or more of the county’s voters casting a ballot, according to Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.
In the 2012 presidential election, 68 percent of Orange County’s voters cast ballots, compared to 74 percent in 2008, he said.
“For the first time in my 12 years here, we have not had one poll worker locked out of a polling place — that’s never happened,” Kelley told City News Service. “Every election you hear the keys are lost, the custodian didn’t show up, but we didn’t have one of those so we had a good start.”
There was a fight at a polling place in Garden Grove, but Kelley said it had nothing to do with the election.
“They could have been fighting at a 7-Eleven,” Kelley said.
At a polling place in Tustin, there were calls of signs too close to the voting booths, Kelley said.
“An inspector removed a few signs and a voter got upset and caused a bit of a ruckus in the polling place,” Kelley said. “We went ahead and sent her home, not because she did anything wrong, but because she was upset.”
Early voting also went well in the county, Kelley said.
“Over 30,000 chose to vote early in person, which was excellent,” he said. “Sunday was the busiest and yesterday was busy, as well.”
It was the first time the county has allowed early voting in person on the eve of election day, Kelley said.
Polls close at 8 p.m., but if the turnout continues to be strong, it’s possible some precincts will remain open to accommodate voters still in line, Kelley said.
—City News Service
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