With election day about a week away, eastern Madera County residents can skip the lines Nov. 6 and send in their ballots early.
Races on the ballot notable to eastern Madera County include:
- In what has already proved to be a contentious race for California’s 4th Congressional District, Democratic challenger Jessica Morse faces off against Rep. Tom McClintock, R, Elk-Grove.
- Either Sally Orme Moreno or Paul Hornick will be elected the county’s new district attorney, after incumbent David Linn conceded in his bid for re-election in the June primary.
- Three races for seats on the Yosemite Unified School District Board of Trustees (areas one, four and five).
The ballot will also include a number of federal and state offices, as well as statewide propositions.
In its second run under the Voter’s Choice Act, all registered Madera County voters received their general election ballots by mail on Oct. 8. Voters can mail their ballots by dropping them off at their local post office, any ballot drop box, or at any vote center, according to a news release. They can also vote in person at any vote center on election day.
“I would honestly tell voters that they should vote before election day to avoid lines,” said Rebecca Martinez, Madera County Clerk/Recorder/Registrar of Voters.
No postage is required for any of the drop off locations.
In Oakhurst, the voting center is located at the Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Road 425B. In Coarsegold, the voting center sits inside the Oak Creek Senior Living Community Clubhouse, 46041 Road 415. Both voting centers are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. though Monday, Nov. 5, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day.
There are also two ballot drop boxes in eastern Madera County: one inside the Oakhurst Grocery Outlet, 40301 Junction Dr, and another outside the North Fork Mono Rancheria, 33143 Rd 222.
Oakhurst Grocery Outlet is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., but the ballot box will close at 8 p.m. on election day. The Mono Rancheria Box is available 24 hours a day to voters, with the exception of Election Day, when it will only be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The new voting system has already made its presence felt in the voter turnout throughout Madera County. Martinez said in comparing the 2014 June primary election to this year’s, turnout increased by 8 percent, from 36 to 44 percent.
Martinez said she hopes the decision to make postage free for the general election prompts another increase in voter turnout.
“The thought was that if we want to get more people out to participate, then maybe paying for the postage would help,” she said.