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Primary Voter Turnout Higher In Tuolumne County Than State

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Sonora, CA – Voter turnout for the primary election is lower in the state than in Tuolumne County, but overall turnout is down.

As this is the last weekend to cast a vote in the Tuesday, March 5th primary election, the winter weather has forced the closure of one of the county’s five voting centers. Tuolumne County Election Official Debbie Bautista shared, “Due to the snow conditions expected in Twain Harte this weekend, we will not be opening the Vote Center at the Twain Harte Bible Church this weekend, just because we need everybody to be safe.” That Vote Center, located at 18995 Twain Harte Drive, will open on Monday, March 4th, at 8:30 a.m. and remain open until 4:30 p.m.

However, Bautista does not think the weather will be a big factor in the election, stating, “One is that most of our voters don’t vote on the weekend at the vote centers. Instead, they vote on Monday and Tuesday.” She continued, “A lot of our voters drop their ballots off over the weekend, so that may affect a little bit in the drop-off boxes; that’s when we get our biggest volume, and a lot of our voters mailed their ballots this weekend, and fully, that’s not going to change.”

Last week, we reported that 4,900 ballots had been cast in the county; that number has climbed. Bautista says that the state has only seen about 11% of the eligible voter ballots returned, while the county is faring better with a little over 9,000 ballots cast since Friday (3/1), which is about 26% of total voters in the county, beating the state. However, she noted, “We’ve got 9000 ballots in so far; that doesn’t sound like a great turnout. If that’s kind of the way we’re going, we’re probably looking at a 55 or 60% turnout, but if you look at what’s happening in the state, people aren’t voting.”

Voters wanting to mail in a ballot must make sure it is timestamped for March 5th to count. Bautista cautions that if ballots are dropped off at the post office after hours, there could be a problem: “Half the time the people drop off their ballots after the post office has been closed, so it does go out to Sacramento later, and when Sacramento puts the postmark on it, it’s the next day. It’ll be the sixth, and I will not be able to count it.”

Voters still have a chance to raise the ballot numbers, as there are still four voting days left before Tuesday’s primary. Here are the other Tuolumne County Vote Centers that will be open during those same hours this weekend at these locations:

  • Tuolumne County:
    Elections Department
    2 South Green Street
    Sonora, CA 95370
  • Tuolumne:
    Community Resilience Center
    18241 Bay Avenue
    Tuolumne, CA 95379
  • Jamestown:
    Community Hall
    18250 Main Street
    Jamestown, CA 95327
  • Groveland:
    Community Resilience Center
    18986 Ferretti Road
    Groveland, CA 95321

The nearest vote center to Twain Harte would be the Tuolumne Community Resilience Center in Tuolumne. Election questions can be directed to the Election’s Office at (209) 533-5570.