Election Connection

CROSS-OVER VOTING: The American Independent Party and the Democratic Party will allow voters who are unaffiliated with any political party to request and vote their party ballot in the Feb. 5 presidential primary election, according to Lee Lundrigan, clerk-recorder and registrar of voters for Stanislaus County. Heading into last November's elections, about 13 percent of Stanislaus County voters declined to name a party affiliation, about 5 percent less than the state average. How and when can an unaffiliated voter choose which ballot to vote? Upon going to the polls on Election Day, the unaffiliated voter will be given the opportunity to choose either a non-partisan ballot or a ballot from one of the two above-mentioned political parties. Unaffiliated voters who vote by mail because they are permanent absentee voters or live in a mail-only precinct will receive a notice from the county Election's Office. The notice will provide the unaffiliated voter the opportunity to choose one ballot to be mailed to him or her.

REPUBLICAN PARTY MEETING: Joy Madison, president and chief executive officer of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, will be the guest speaker at the Republican Party of Stanislaus County's monthly meeting Monday at 6 p.m. at the Eichel Building, 118 W. Orangeburg Ave. Madison will take questions about the chamber. Local candidates, endorsed by the group, also are invited to give updates about their campaign activities and solicit member support. A business meeting will follow. Any registered Republican can attend and participate in the meetings. For more information, go to www.stanislausgop.org.

RECEPTION FOR BILL LEONARD: The Republican Party of Stanislaus County will hold a reception for Bill Leonard, a member of the state Board of Equalization. The event, on Oct. 18 at 5:30 p.m., will be at the home of Dr. Lars and Sabrina Enevoldsen, 125 Griswold Ave. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. The cost is $50 per person or $600 for sponsors (includes 10 tickets). Make checks out to RPSC and send to P.O. Box 941, Modesto, 95353 or by credit card at www.stanislausgop.org. Click on "RPSC Reception With BOE Member Bill Leonard."

CANDIDATE FORUM: The League of Women Voters is sponsoring a candidate forum Oct. 8 featuring candidates for the Modesto City Council, Chairs 1 and 6. It will be in the council chamber at 1010 10th St., Modesto. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channels 7 and 8 and Charter Cable Channel 19. Questions are encouraged. Viewers may call in questions to 342-6290 and 342-6278. For more information, call 524-1698.

COUNCILMEN HOLD FUND-RAISER: Ceres City Council incumbents Rob Phipps and Guillermo Ochoa are holding a fund-raiser Oct. 4 at River Oaks Golf Course. People can donate to their campaigns and find out more about the candidates. They are two of the four people seeking election to two seats on the council in November. The golf course is at 3441 Golf Links Road in Ceres.

FILING DEADLINE TODAY: Today is the filing deadline for campaign finance reports in the Modesto City Council election. Most of the candidates have said they are running low-budget campaigns that won't require them to do much paperwork. Chair 1 candidate Dave Lopez has decked Modesto in 12 large signs competing with ones bought by his opponent, Robert Farrace. Farrace has said he would raise more than $20,000 for the race. Lopez wanted to stay under the $1,000 threshold that triggers reporting requirements. The signs cost him $350, he said.

SURF THE CANDIDATES: Three of the four candidates for the Modesto City Council's Chair 1 have Web sites. Airport neighborhood activist Robert Stanford has a MySpace page, www.myspace.com/stanford4modesto. Attorney Robert Farrace has a campaign Web site, http://farrace4council.com. And so does electrician Brent Maynor, www.maynor4modestocitycouncil.com. Business account executive Dave Lopez wants to hear from people by e-mail at votelopez@yahoo.com.

Do you have comments about or contributions for Election Connection? Send them to Election Connection, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or e-mail bclark@modbee.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.