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Getting Ready for February 5th

Its called Super Tuesday. Actually, some enthusiasts are calling it Super Duper Tuesday because on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 22 states will hold primaries or caucuses to determine their political parties nominees for president of the United States. Many believe that on that day,

the final decisionwill be made and that by Wednesday morning, we will know the names to be put forth at the Republican and Democratic presidential nominating conventions during the summer.

While we voters are feeling some pressure to make up our minds on how we will vote on Super Tuesday, its the folks responsible for recording, protecting, and counting our votes who are really under pressure these days to get ready for the big day. At the head of that team is Deborah Seiler, who became the County Registrar of Voters last May amidst hot controversy over her background as a former sales representative for the company that sold electronic voting machines to the County a few years ago for $31 million. Last August, the California Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified them , concerned that they were not secure.

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Today, I asked Ms. Seiler who, in addition to her job representing electronic voting systems, served on the California Fair Political Practices Commission (1993-1997), was editor and publisher of California Elections Report , a monthly newsletter, and held several other appointed offices, about whether we can feel comfortable now that we are back to paper ballots. We also clarified some questions about whether, if you vote by mail-in ballot, and you change your mind after youve mailed in that ballot, you can rescind that vote and show up at a polling place. We talked about the countys lawsuit against the California secretary of state who wants a random sampling of ballots when the results are really, really close, and what choices non-partisan voters have in the presidential primary.

And, those exit polls we hear about the registrar has nothing to do with them. Thats strictly orchestrated by the media. But when the polls close at 8 p.m., the mail-in vote should give us some idea who the winners will be. Between now and then, you can vote by going to the registrars office, mailing in your ballot, or you can wait for the big day.

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