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Orange County

Earlybirds Can Vote as Soon as Oct. 5

The county's advance balloting program goes mainstream after its March trial. Many sites -- plus a 'vote- mobile' -- are planned.

September 15, 2004|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

Orange County voters may cast ballots as early as Oct. 5 this year at polling places in grocery stores, malls and government buildings as well as a "vote-mobile" traveling countywide.

"If you can't make it to the polling place, we'll bring the polling place to you," said County Registrar of Voters Steve Rodermund.

Although voters have long been able to cast absentee ballots by mail, the early voting program -- which allows people to vote in person -- had its first limited trial in Orange County before the March primary.

The program adds convenience by giving voters one more way to cast their ballot, or "vote on their time," Rodermund said.

It also helps the county by lessening the strain on the polling places during election day.

"So it helps the voters out, plus it helps the election process by smoothing out when voters vote," he said.

The early voting -- scheduled to run through Oct. 29 , just three days before the general election -- will be available at 31 locations countywide, including several Albertson's markets.

It will also be offered at shopping malls in Westminster, Buena Park, Mission Viejo and Santa Ana; at city halls in Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Niguel and San Juan Capistrano; and several other locations, including the County Hall of Administration, registrar of voters office in Santa Ana and at the University of California, Irvine.

The opportunity to vote will also be offered in a "vote-mobile," Rodermund said, making stops at 26 locations, including senior centers, supermarkets, colleges, ethnic associations and a swap meet.

A full schedule of times and places for early voting is posted on the county's web site at www.oc.ca.gov/election.

This will be the first time Orange County has offered early voting in a presidential election, Rodermund said.

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