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More Places To Cast Ballots In Tuolumne County

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Sonora, CA – Those wanting to vote early in the March 5th primary election will have two additional places to cast a ballot.

This weekend, two vote centers will be opened. One at the Tuolumne Community Resilience Center at 18241 Bay Avenue in Tuolumne and the county election office on 2 South Green Street in Sonora. Those centers will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Then the resilient center will be open Monday through Friday of next week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The following weekend, the Groveland Community Resilient Center, located at 18986 Ferretti Road in Groveland, will be open.

“So, if one wants to vote in person, this is a great opportunity to come in when there’s not a whole lot of lines and vote at one of these centers, wait till the following weekend, or vote during the week,” commented Tuolumne County Election official Debbie Bautista.

She is urging the public to vote early, not only so they don’t have to wait in line, but it also helps her office tally the votes faster. Bautista advised, “There are 12 local candidates vying for six seats, so the sooner that the people get their ballots in and that we can have them all counted by Tuesday night, the more comfortable maybe those 12 people will be Tuesday night, especially if there are any close races.”

The county election office has so far received a little over 4,900 ballots, which Bautista says is good and slightly ahead of June 2022.

“When it gets to be Monday and Tuesday of the election, we’re just zooming, and so if we can get 1,000 ballots done before that, that is just so much more helpful because I still get somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 ballots on election day from the drop-off boxes and the mail, and then we get mail. You can have mail for up to seven days, but it has to be postmarked on election day. It just takes longer to process.”

Regarding a breakdown of the county’s five districts and early voting, Bautista says that as of right now, voters in District 4 (Jamestown, Columbia) have returned about 16% of their ballots, 15% for District 5 (Groveland area), and 13% for District 1 (Sonora area). In the remaining two districts with no candidates running, each has received 12.7% from their voters. She added, “So, those three districts that have supervisors in the race are definitely sending in their ballots earlier.”

Tuesday, February 27, is the last day voters can request a vote by mail ballot from the elections office to be mailed to them. They can also pick up a ballot at one of the voting centers or the election office and take it home to fill out and mail it in as well. As a reminder, it must be postmarked on the primary election date of March 5th.