BALLOT TIME: Sample ballot booklets for the June 3 primary election should be arriving in Stanislaus County mailboxes in the next day or two, and the vote by mail ballots will be sent out Friday, according to the county clerk's office.
That would be California Primary Election, Part Two. The state split the primary in two this year, holding the presidential primary in February and the congressional and state primary and local elections June 3.
This was either an effort to make California relevant in the presidential primary, or a cynical attempt to pass a ballot measure to extend some legislators' terms, depending on your political perspective.
Nearly half of the county's 217,702 registered voters are permanent vote by mail voters or are in mailed ballot precincts.
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Eligible residents who have not registered for the election have until May 19 to sign up to vote June 3.
Who's eligible to vote? According to the Stanislaus County clerk-recorder and registrar of voters Web site: A citizen of the United States; a resident of California; those who are at least 18 years of age as of the day of the next election; those not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony; and those not declared to be mentally incompetent by a court.
The League of Women Voters of Stanislaus County will hold a public candidates' forum for county supervisors District 5 race today. Candidates are Jim DeMartini and John Fantazia. The forum will start at 6:30 p.m. and will be at the Modesto City Council chamber at 1010 10th St. The forum will be televised live on Charter Channel 19. There will be a chance for viewers to call in and ask questions. There were plans to include District 2 candidates Les Weidman and Vito Chiesa, but because of a scheduling conflict, Chiesa could not make it. So neither candidate will be included. The forum will be moderated by Marie Bairey and will be rebroadcast at later dates. For more information, call 524-1698 or go to www.lwvstanislaus.org.
CHIESA EVENTS: There will be a wine and cheese open house for Vito Chiesa, candidate for the Stanislaus County Supervisor District 2 seat, today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the home of Mike and Ann Badiou, 11312 Doerksen Road, Denair. Donations accepted. To RSVP, call Ann Badiou at 634-3445 or Cathy Morelli at 874-3022.
WEIDMAN FUND-RAISER: The Friends of Les Weidman election committee is holding a "Fiesta Fund-raiser" Friday for his campaign for Stanislaus County supervisor. It's at the home of Julio and Rosa Hallack, 3130 Fulkerth Road, Turlock. It will include a Mexican dinner, drinks and Latin music. Social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6. Donation levels: Hermano $100. Compadre $50. Amigo $25. The public is invited. For more information, call 541-5914 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
CANDIDATE ON PARADE: Taylor White, candidate for Assembly District 25, will be in the Mother Lode Round-Up parade Saturday in Sonora. It begins at 10 a.m., and features nearly 200 parade entries marching downtown. For more on White, go to www.taylorwhitestateassembly2008.com.
LINGUICA FEST: Merced's Dennis Cardoza, uncontested for a fourth term in the House of Representatives, is hosting his fifth annual "Linguica Fest" Saturday at the Old Fisherman's Club. It starts at 6:30 p.m. with a social, dinner and dancing at 7:30. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling 489-7188. For more information, go to www.denniscardoza.com.
BERRYHILL POKER CLASSIC: The first Bill Berryhill Poker Classic is noon Saturday at the Durrers "Old Barn," 3500 Dunn Road (between Beckwith and Bacon). Entry fee for the Texas Hold-Em event is $125. Proceeds will go to Bill Berryhill For Assembly (District 26). Drinks and munchies will be included. The event is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee. For more information, call Don at 602-7055, Mike at 499-9512 or Jerry at 531-3256.
SOUTH SAN JOAQUIN REPUBLICANS: The South San Joaquin Republicans will hold a local candidates night Monday at 6 p.m. at Chez Shari Restaurant, 305 N. Union Road, Manteca. The meeting will include candidates running for city council seats in Ripon and Manteca and a question-and-answer session with Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian. Meet and greet is at 6 p.m., followed by speakers at 6:30. For more information, call Frank Aquila, 825-0123.
REPUBLICAN WOMEN: Irenemaree Castillo, vice president of the Latinas United Republican Women Federated Stockton and parliamentarian for Central Division of the California Federation of Republican Women, is the guest speaker at the Tuesday meeting of Modesto Republican Women Federated at 11:30 a.m. at The Seasons, 934 McHenry Ave., Modesto. Castillo's speech, "Am I Responsible?" involves encouraging citizen participation in the electoral process and community. In addition to her involvement in the federation, Castillo has served five U.S. presidents in various appointed positions. Lunch is $15 at the door. For information or reservations, call 567-3399 before noon Monday.
POETRY AND POLITICS: The monthly Poetry Slam presented by local poetry slam master Sam Pierstorff at the Prospect Theatre will take "social justice" as its general theme Wednesday. The idea was the brainchild of Leslie Howard, new president of the Central Valley Democratic Club, which is hosting this event. Her hope is to provide a forum for poets and young people to express their thoughts on current political issues, whatever their political party affiliation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. The Prospect Theatre is at 520 Scenic Drive, Modesto. General admission is $5, $15 close to the front and $20 in the front row. To purchase a seat, call Howard at 576-0096. Poets who want to participate should contact Sam Pierstorff at http://slamonrye.com. There is $200 in cash prizes.
DeMARTINI FUND-RAISER: Jim DeMartini, who is running for the District 5 seat on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, is having a fund-raising dinner Friday at the Patterson FDES Hall at 501 Ward Ave. Social starts at 6 p.m., dinner at 7. Contribution is $50 per person. For more information, call 892-4503
McCAIN IN STOCKTON: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain will visit Stockton on May 22 for a rally and a fund-raiser. The rally is at 4 p.m. at the Spanos Jet Center. McCain will attend a fund-raiser later at the home of Stockton developer Alex Spanos.
Have comments about or contributions for Election Connection? Send them to Election Connection, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or e-mail email@example.com. It appears weekly on Thursdays. Deadline for publication is 6 p.m. Tuesday. Endorsements, yard signs and precinct walk announcements will not be published.