A close mayoral race and congressional race between Tracy native Richard Pombo and Jerry McNerney brought a high number of local voters to the polls Tuesday night and caused some voters to wait as long as an hour.
Poll workers said voter turnout was high, but as of 11 p.m., only 27 percent of the precincts had tallied their ballots, and the turnout at that time was 17 percent of registered voters.
“There are a lot of issues that are near and dear to people’s hearts, especially the issues in Tracy,” said Judy McDonald, who has volunteered as a poll worker for 10 years. “That’s what will get people out.”
Tim Heinrich, volunteer poll worker at the Poet Christian Magnet School site, greeted voters at the end of a long line just a half-hour before the polls closed. He estimated they’d wait just under an hour.
“Everything is running smoothly,” Heinrich said. “We just have a high number of voters, which is a good thing.”
Satinder Singh walked past the long line at a poll site and handed her absentee ballot to the poll workers.
“I’m very happy I voted absentee,” she said “And I will from now on. I would’ve still waited in the line to vote, but it’s so much easier.”
Mary Wipperman of Tracy said she wondered why the poll sites didn’t have more than six electronic ballots as she waited in line for an hour. “They need more machines, but we came here to vote so we’ll wait to vote. It’s our responsibility.”
No matter how long or short the lines are, Hanifa Hakimi of Tracy admitted she doesn’t vote.
“I believe the only votes that count are the Senators’ and the House of Representatives. I don’t believe my vote counts.”
• To contact reporter Danielle MacMurchy, call 830-4280 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.