http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/11/14/danville-sees-high-turnout-on-election-day


DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - November 14, 2008

Danville sees high turnout on election day

Town votes for Obama, Wilson - and against Prop 8

by Geoff Gillette

A hotly contested presidential race alongside a controversial and contentious ballot proposition brought voters to polls in Danville in large numbers. Contra Costa County Clerk Steve Weir said that the county as a whole is currently showing more than 70 percent voter turnout in last week's elections.

In Danville, Weir said the ballots counted show a 74 percent voter turnout, but once the mail-in and provisional ballots were counted that number could climb as high as 89 percent.

"The percentage of mail-in ballots is huge," he said. "I think that if you have a ballot in hand you have a propensity to make sure it gets turned in. It's different than if you have to go out to a polling place and fill out a ballot there."

Statistics provided by Weir showed that in some cases Danville residents voted right alongside the majority of the state or the country but there were some marked differences. Vote tallies from Danville showed the following:

* President

Barack Obama - 11,321

John McCain - 8,891

* 11th Congressional District

Jerry McNerney - 10,437

Dean Andal - 8,767

* 15th District Assembly

Joan Buchanan - 9,030

Abram Wilson - 10,366

* Proposition 8 (banning same-sex marriage)

Yes - 9,202

No - 11,039

Vote tallies from Alamo:

* President

McCain - 2,364

Obama - 2,497

Vote tallies from Diablo:

* President

McCain - 942

Obama - 648

"These are election night numbers," Weir pointed out. "We have almost 90,000 votes, countywide, to add to the totals, including provisional ballots, vote by mail, etc." Weir said he expects to certify the election by Nov. 26.

Weir also noted that Contra Costa County traditionally has some of the highest voter turnouts in the state. "We consistently have the best registered and the best voter turnout. If there's a big state race, sometimes Sacramento will beat us out but generally we have the best turnout," he said.

The county Elections Division Web site shows a 70.34 percent turnout. If Weir's predictions are accurate, the final turnout figure for Contra Costa County could reach 85 percent. That would be the highest turnout reported in the past 30 years in Contra Costa County, beating the 81 percent figure reported in 2004.

The lowest turnout in the past 30 years for a presidential election was in the 1996 matchup between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole.

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