Update: Possibly Record Breaking Numbers of Voters Converge on Mammoth High Voting Site

By: 
Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

At 630 on election night in Mono County, results are still many hours out as precincts continue to take in a steady stream of voters. A stream. That started before 7 am this morning.
The earliest results are most likely in around 9 pm as the ballots are driven up and down the 395 and to the Elections Office in Bridgeport.
Lines are moving relatively quickly and the voting process is going smoothly so far at the Mammoth High School gym, with no disruptions or issues with polling observers, according to officials,
who said the lines are most likely a combination of two things; possibly record-breaking turnout, and, a larger than usual number of provisional ballots being processed today, Election Day afternoon, Nov. 8.
“It’s been like this since five minutes to seven,” said poll worker Robert Lavenberg, pointing to the line of people stretching out the library door (it’s wise to remember that in Mammoth, a line stretching out the door means about 20 people, not hundreds of people).
“We have already processed 100 provisional ballots,” said polling place election coordinator Greg Newbry, one hand on his phone, the other shuffling papers. He noted that a normal number for a general election for Mono County is closer to 30-40 provisional ballots.
“I had to make more copies for the paperwork for provisional ballots today,” he said, noting that is not something he has ever had to do in previous elections.
It was about noon when Newbry made the comment, with much of the voting day still ahead before polls close at 8 p.m. tonight.
He said the main issue for most people who now need to vote provisionally is they didn’t receive their Vote By Mail ballots in time.
“A lot of people simply did not get their ballots yet,” he said. That might be due to the unusually large number of people in the county who registered to vote late in this election cycle and thus, did not allow enough time to receive their ballots in the mail, he said.
“We have never seen anything like this before in the county,” said Dina Craig. “It doesn’t matter what side you are on, it’s an important election.”
Overall, however, things are going smoothly at the Mammoth High School gym, with a steady stream of voters who didn’t need to vote provisionally moving quickly through the process.
Outside the gym, voters gathered to talk and debrief.
“Well, I voted and maybe today is the end of the world,” said one voter, standing by the door of the library, declining to state who he voted for and who, in his estimation, would be the choice that ended the world.
Others were more upbeat, turning a day fraught with tension for many into something a bit more convivial.
“I’m waiting for my sister to get here so we can vote together,” said Sarah Rea with a smile.

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