Tuesday, November 03, 2009

This Negative Campaign Will Positively End Today!

It's election day morning in the City of Santa Barbara. Do you know where your ballot is?

Hopefully, your answer is, "in the mail." And hopefully you dropped it in the mail before last Friday, which would ensure it's received by the elections office by 8 pm tonight.

If it's still lying around, not filled out, then by all means cast your ballot and drop it off today at City Hall or one of the six drop off locations.

Despite predictions by the News-Press editorial page of a low turnout for this first all vote-by-mail election, voter participation will exceed the 37 percent of two years ago. This is according to mayoral candidate Dale Francisco, one of the candidates being backed by Preserve Our Santa Barbara.

I ran into Dale at the Daily Grind on Monday morning where he was about to embark on some precinct walking. The candidates have access to constant updates on the number of ballots that have been turned in, and where the yet to be returned ballots are.

Dale told me that around 16,000 ballots had already been returned. That's as many ballots that were cast two years ago and of course a last minute surge of ballots is expected to come in on election day.

Since October 20th, Texan Randall Van Wolfswinkel has given a total of $110,000 in the form of loans to the Preserve Our Santa Barbara PAC. In addition to the $50,000 I previously reported he gave on October 20, another late contribution report filed with the city shows that he loaned an additional $60,000 on October 29.

The well-over a half-million dollars Van Wolfswinkel has poured into his support of a slate of conservative candidates means he is spending more than $12 per registered voter, or $36 per vote if only a third of the voters turn out. This according to the computations of former First District County Supervisor Frank Frost. Frost went on to point out that this doesn't come close to the Gail Marshall recall campaign, where her enemies spent over $80 per vote to oust the Third District Supervisor and still lost heavily.

People who are glad to see this election end: Letter carriers and voters.

People who wish the election would go on forever: TV stations like KEYT who sell the airtime for political ads, and bloggers like myself, who never have to wake up in the morning wondering what they'll write about that day.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com