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Watsonville sees huge voter turnout

Modified: Tuesday, Nov 6th, 2012

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville residents came in droves Tuesday to cast their ballot for the 2012 presidential election, having their say in 10 state propositions and a school bond measure, as well as several local city and school board candidates.

Several people were filing in and out of the polling station at Landmark Elementary School, where 154 people had come to vote as of 12 p.m.

Poll worker Alice Weigel said that the numbers of voters seemed higher in the presidential election four years ago, but added that it was still early.

“The crunch time comes between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., when people are getting off of work,” she said.

Weigel also said that more people than ever are voting by mail this year, but said she thought that would not appreciably affect overall voter turnout.

“If it’s important to people to vote, they’re going to vote,” she said.

Outside the Landmark precinct, Watsonville resident Bob Dankert said he cast his vote for Mitt Romney, which was unusual for him.

“I voted Republican for the first time, and I’m 65,” he said.

Dankert explained that he is disappointed in President Barack Obama’s promise to deal with certain immigration issues, and said that he thought Romney would create a more temperate economic climate for small businesses.

On the upper floor of the Watsonville City Plaza, dozens of people were packed around tables as they filled out provisional ballots, and at voting booths.

“It’s been like this all day long,” said Watsonville City Clerk Beatriz Flores. “We haven’t stopped since 7:30 a.m.”

Christina Herrera, who came with her two kids, 9 and 4, brought in her absentee ballot, and those for her grandparents an her aunt.

Herrera declined to say how she voted, but she was quick to say why she came.

“I vote every election, and I always bring my kids,” she said. “I want them to see the importance of voting.”

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