California voters head to the polls

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE - Polls open at 7 a.m. today for the 14,183 eligible voters in El Dorado County's Lake Tahoe region.

County Clerk Bill Schultz said if everything goes well, he expects to have all votes counted by 10:30 p.m., if not earlier.

The vote will decide the county's next district attorney and supervisors. There are also several primaries, including U.S. District 4 congressional representative, governor and several state offices.

This is the first election in El Dorado County with new touch-screen voting machines manufactured by Diebold Election Systems. State and federal laws have mandated each county get rid of punch-card systems and provide disabled-voter accessibility, according to the county registrar Bill Schultz.

After polls close at Lake Tahoe, the electronic machines will be sent to the clerk's office at Takela Drive, where votes will be tallied and unofficial results sent via modem to the elections department in Placerville. At the very latest, the final tally would come around 11 p.m., Schultz said.

Prior to this election, ballots from Tahoe's 119 precincts were driven in a truck to Placerville, about a 90-minute drive, where they were counted last.

Results were often not available until after 11 p.m.


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