Low Turnout Expected, Despite Important Election

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, May 18, 2009

Lee Lundrigan (Stanislaus County): “We’re seeing probably a much, much lower turnout.”
Jill LaVine (Sacramento County): “We are not expecting any large crowds or long lines.”
Donna Johnston (Sutter County) : “People don’t necessarily realize there is an election, unfortunately.” 
Those are the top elections officials in Stanislaus, Sacramento and Sutter counties, respectively, speaking on Capital Public Radio’s Insight.  Stanislaus County’s Lee Lundrigan suggests two reasons why:
Lundrigan: “It’s in May – that’s unusual for people.  And no people on the ballot, no candidates.  So they are not voting for someone who they wish to vote for.  It is a complex number of measures.” 
But Sacramento State government professor Kim Nalder says any voters who plan to sit this election out should think again.
Nalder: “It’s incredibly important to the future of California, because we’re determining what budget priorities we have, which pots of money deserve to be switched around and which don’t.  Their input is necessary.” 
County elections officials say vote-by-mail ballots are trickling in at a far slower pace than last fall’s presidential race.