September 17, 2003


Nearly 400,000 have voted in election that may be delayed (JIM WASSERMAN, September 17, 2003, Associated Press)

With fewer than three weeks until a scheduled Oct. 7 election, state elections officials report nearly 400,000 Californians have already voted, although the election may be put off until March.

That growing mountain of absentee ballots could be tossed out if the election is delayed, and waste $30 million in printing and postage costs, says Contra Costa County Clerk Stephen Weir, a spokesman for county elections officials. Or the absentees may have already helped determine the outcome of the Oct. 7 race by locking in votes that might have been changed later.

Along with the thousands of ballots already in, voter registrars say each of the state's 58 counties are receiving requests for more each day. It's happening even as a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a delay in the election the full court may reconsider this week.

"As a matter of fact, I think we've had even more requests," said Alma Rosas, spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County elections department. "We haven't seen a slowdown of it."

"We're swamped," added Tehama County Registrar of Voters Mary Alice George, where one in every 27 voters have already spoken through absentee ballots.

The courts are not going to let three judges in the 9th Circuit stop an election in progress.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 17, 2003 10:23 PM

My vote is in, absentee of course, & I'll be totally p.o'd. should the weenies of the Ninth disenfranchise me.

Posted by: Mike Daley at September 18, 2003 12:32 AM

The Ninth Circuit's decision has nothing to do with the "democratic process." The rules for recall, prescribed in the California Constitution, are quite specific. The Ninth Circuit rejects those rules. Rules are for suckers.

My question: Couldn't taxpayers save a lot of money by simply abolishing the legislature and turning the rules over to the judiciary?

Oh, and as to the accusation that the recall is a "circus." Wasn't it Judge Pregerson (author of the 9th Cir. opinion)who issued ridiculous writ after writ to obstruct the execution of Robert Alton Harris (he of the unspeakable crimes), including at least one writ issued while Harris was in the death chamber, which required prison authorities to unstrap him and await further legal notice? In response to which the Supreme Court issued an order telling Judge Pregerson that he had no jurisdiction to further act (unprecedented in our legal history).

Just askin'.

Fred Jacobsen
San Francisco

Posted by: F.A. Jacobsen at September 18, 2003 5:28 AM

Everyone kept saying the NJ supreme court would overtune the ruling that allowed Lautenberg to replace Torricelli right before the election. Didn't happen. I'm not counting on the full 9th to do the right thing or the U.S. Supreme Court stepping in as well. So it might be March after all which may or may not help Davis and Dems depending on how the next few months go.

Posted by: AWW at September 18, 2003 8:18 AM