Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Election 2010: Contested election year hasn't seen spike in voter registrations

LAKE COUNTY – While there are several highly contested local races on this year's ballot, voter registration numbers in Lake County don't appear to show any big changes, unlike previous election years.


Races for sheriff, district attorney, superintendent of schools, and District 2 and 3 supervisorial seats all are contested in 2010. In 2006, the sheriff and district attorney's races were single-candidate races.


Locally, voter registration has grown modestly since 2006, with a notable spike in 2008, which Lake County Registrar of Voters Diane Fridley said is common during presidential election years.


As of April 15, Lake County had 32,215 registered voters, Fridley said. That number is up only slightly from voter registration numbers four years ago.


For the primary election on June 6, 2006, the county had 32,005 citizens registered to vote, according to numbers Fridley provided.


Five months later, for the general election on Nov. 7, 2006, voter registration numbers actually edged down, to 31,564, she said.


During 2008, there were 33,143 registered voters for the June 3 primary and 35,154 for the Nov. 4 presidential election, according to Fridley.


Since then, Lake County has lost about 3,000 voter registrations. Fridley said the only reason to remove voters from the rolls is when they move or when they're deceased.


“We don't have very many people who just cancel the registration,” Fridley said.


The number of registered voters is fluid and continues to change. Fridley said that on Wednesday her office received 125 new registrations, which she believes is because of the ongoing initiative drives for the November ballot.


Absentee – or vote by mail – ballots in recent years have shown more significant growth and interesting changes, with more Lake County voters casting ballots by mail than showing up in person at polling places.


Of the ballots cast in June 2006, 23.8 percent were absentee, versus 18.2 percent at voter precincts. By November 2006, the vote by mail numbers had grown to 32.7 percent of the total votes cast, with precinct votes totaling 29.9 percent, Fridley said.


The percentage of votes cast by mail slid backward in June 2008, when Fridley said 22.4 percent of all ballots were cast via vote by mail and 11.6 percent of votes were cast at precincts.


However, for the November 2008 presidential election, absentee voters cast 39.2 percent of all ballots, with 34.4 percent of votes cast at precincts, Fridley reported.


While absentee voters have been responsible for a larger response during recent elections, they still trail the numbers of those registered to vote at precincts, according to Registrar of Voters records.


Of the people currently registered to vote in Lake County, Fridley said those who have signed up to vote at precincts total 51.2 percent, versus 48.7 percent who are enrolled for voting by mail.


Some of those registered to vote by mail include 62 people are in the military and stationed in the United States, 36 who are active military personnel stationed overseas and 118 civilians living in other countries, Fridley said.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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