Mail-in ballots gain in popularity

More than ever, voters have turned to early, absentee, mail-in voting to cast their ballots for Election Day 2012.

Before the first polls opened on the East Coast, some 32 million had voted in ways they didn't involve heading to their local polling place.

In the 2008 General Election, 131 million cast ballots in all.

In Sacramento County in 2012, nearly 200,000 mail-in ballots had been received by the county registrar of voters office.

News10 reporter Leigh Paynter in Stanislaus County tweeted thatsince last Friday, 75,000 mail-in ballots had been received by county elections officials. County Registrar Lee Landrigan saidthere's been a steep increase - 70 percent -in voting by mail.

News10 reporter Tim Daly said there was some confusion at the polls in San Joaquin County. Registrar Austin Erdmansaid some voters thought a new law that allows same day voter registration and voting had kicked in. So some would-be voters were not registered and had to be turned away.

The same-day registration law takes effect in 2016.

Overall, the California Secretary of State's office said no major voting problems had been reported by early afternoon.

Spokeswoman Shannan Velayas said more than 3,000 Californians called the state's voting hotline Tuesday morning, mostly to ask about the location of their polling place.

Callers also reported that a handful of the state's 24,500 polling places did not open at 7 a.m. as scheduled.

Earlier Tuesday, the Field Poll predicted more than half ofCalifornia voters cast ballots by mail.

It would be the first time the number of mail-in ballots overtook the number of precinct ballots in a California general election. Field predicts 51 percent of all ballots for this election will be mail-in.

The number of vote-by-mail ballots exceeded the number of votes cast in person for the first time during the 2008 non-presidential primary election.

In its report released Tuesday, Field also estimated that 1 million fewer Californians will vote in this year's presidential contest than did in 2008.

Field estimated that 70 percent of the state's registered voters, or 12.7 million people, will cast ballots for this election. Turnout was 79.4 percent in the 2008 presidential election.

All California election results


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