Sample ballots headed to a mailbox near you

Stanislaus County sample ballot pamphlets for the Nov. 6 election are in the mail, and should start arriving today, according to county Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan.

Absentee and all-mail precinct ballots are expected to be mailed Monday. Most of the county will be voting in the November election, although there are a few small pockets of voters that do not have candidates or measures on the ballot.

Those who haven't registered to vote have until Oct. 22 to get that done for this election. The League of Women Voters will hold a registration event that day at the Modesto Library, Lundrigan said.

Lundrigan had a bit of bad news for candidates and political junkies: final results of the election will be later this year because of changes made in the state election laws.

Absentee ballots will have to be handled by precinct rather than by ballot type starting in 2008, and Lundrigan's office will run the November election by the new rules. That means that instead of sorting, counting, storing and reporting the absentee votes by 39 ballot types in the Nov. 6 election, the elections office will have to separate them by the 388 precincts.

That won't hamper results on election night, Lundrigan said, but it will slow the absentee count afterward.

That's bad news for the city of Modesto, as well. Modesto has an advisory question on the ballot on two forms of district election. The one that prevails is supposed to go on the Feb. 8, 2008, ballot for a binding vote. But the deadline to put the question on the February ballot is Nov. 9 -- three days after the election.

The final vote canvass may not be completed until the second week after the election, Lundrigan said.