Thousands of voters throughout Stanislaus County are expected to cast ballots today in more than four dozen races for seats on city councils, school and irrigation boards, and fire protection and community services districts.
The county’s more than 150 polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Those voting by mail can drop off their ballots at polling places.
Modesto voters will decide the fate of Measure X, a temporary 1percent sales tax, which supporters say is necessary to shore up essential services, such as public safety, that have seen staffing and service reductions over several years because of budget cuts. Opponents say city officials have failed to live within their means.
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There are council races in Modesto, Ceres and Waterford. Voters also will choose members of the Modesto, Turlock and Patterson irrigation districts, as well as the Denair and Keyes community services districts. Three seats are open on the Burbank-Paradise Fire Protection District.
Most of the races are for school boards. The races include the Stanislaus County Board of Education, Modesto City Schools, Turlock Unified School District, Riverbank Unified School District, Oakdale Joint Unified School District and Denair Unified School District.
Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan declined to speculate on today’s turnout. But off-year elections – including today’s – when no one is running for president, governor or other high-profile offices have drawn in recent years about 22percent of Stanislaus County’s voters, which is about one-third of the county’s turnout for the past two presidential elections.
Stanislaus County has more than 207,000 registered voters, and more than 60percent of them vote by mail.
There are two other local measures on the ballot besides Measure X: Waterford’s Measure W, which would establish a community facilities assessment, and Modesto’s Measure V, which is an advisory vote on whether sewer services should be extended to the airport neighborhood.