Last-minute statewide push to register voters

October 20, 2008 7:41:04 PM PDT
The push was on, statewide, to register as many Californians as possible on this last day.

A Sacramento drive-through was popular, with hundreds showing up early, eager to vote in next month's historic Presidential election.

"I actually have never voted. I figure it's time to put my voice into voting," says Alan Jorgensen, a newly registered voter.

Election officials are especially vigilant during these registration pushes, which are ripe for voter fraud.

Just this weekend in Southern California, Ontario police arrested the owner of the company hired by the state Republican party to register voters. Investigators say Mark Jacoby used his old, childhood address to register himself to vote so he would be eligible to register others. The Republican Party says Jacoby still receives mail.

I think it's very politically motivated. There's no reason to arrest an individual who's registered to vote at his parents' address," says Hector Barajas of the California Republican Party.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who's a Democrat, denies the arrest is politically motivated, especially since she is working on the case with a Republican District Attorney.

"If it's Mother Teresa and she registered as Ghandi, that's a felony. And we will investigate it and we will prosecute it," says Debra Bowen (D) CA, Secretary of State.

The LA District Attorney's office is also investigating whether Jacoby's firm improperly re-registered voters as Republicans.

Meanwhile, newly-hired workers are ready at the county level to input into a database reams of information from this crush of last-minute forms they're about to receive.

You have until midnight tonight (Monday, October 20) to register to vote. Click here for information on how to register. Also, for information on early voting, click here.

There are some locations holding late night voter registration hours in the Bay Area:

Oakland:
Oak Street between 12th and 13 streets
Outside Rene C. Davidson Courthouse
5pm-midnight

San Francisco:
Outside City Hall
Grove Street entrance
Note: The Dept. of Election office will be closed, but people will be outside City Hall to collect registration cards until midnight.

Sonoma:
Drive-up window outside registrar's voter office, open until midnight. Registration forms will be available at the window.

Santa Cruz:
Elections office parking lot
Volunteers will be collecting forms until mdidnight


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