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Santa Monica Polls Slow After Morning Rush

Voter turnout reported at 66.6 percent countywide. Santa Monica polls initially described as busy and chaotic, with the morning's first voters reporting wait times of about 30 minutes.

Early-to-rise Santa Monica voters found long lines Tuesday morning at most precincts, with wait times of about 30 minutes reported.

The lines dissipated by lunchtime, but some precincts continued to report steady traffic into the afternoon.

For results on Santa Monica's local races and on state propositions, check out Patch's 2012 Voter Guide.

Several local polling stations were busy and chaotic when they opened at 7 a.m., according to Westside residents John Clair and Larry Stein, who are volunteers with the nonprofit, nonpartisan voter education group Election Protection. By 9 a.m., they had visited half of their six assigned precincts in Santa Monica.

"This is actually shorter than the other ones," they said of the line of more than about two dozen at the polling station at the Santa Monica Hostel (which is the city's oldest brick building and its former town hall) on Second Street in downtown.

Gregg Spotts, a director in the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, said he was the twenty-fourth person in line when he arrived to his polling location at 7:10 a.m.

"Wilshire House location on 3rd St was busy with 30 people in line by 7:30am," he Tweeted to Patch.

Crowds were nonstop throughout the morning at Ocean House, according to poll worker and Santa Monica resident Ellen James. That precinct tends to be crowded on presidential election years, volunteers said.

"In 2008 it was very, very crowded," James said. "I remember filling out 146 provisional ballots."

She speculated many of those ballots were from film crews working the American Film Market, currently underway, nearby at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.

By about 1 p.m., 335 ballots were cast at the location. "They gave me 750 ballots," said poll clerk Tom Kertesz. "So we'll probably end up at 50 percent" of voter turnout by the end of the day, he said.

Countywide, voter turnout was 66.6 percent when the polls closed at 8 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/Clerk's sampling of pre-selected precincts.

Did you experience long wait times at Santa Monica's polling stations? Tell us about your voting experience by posting a comment below!

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Eric W November 14, 2012 at 06:57 AM
Run a precient at Washinton West School on 4th and Raymond. 20 minute wait time from opening until 10AM. Shorter line of voters after that. Issued 700 ballots from the registrar and used 665 of them. That's a pretty good turnout!
Jenna Chandler November 14, 2012 at 07:51 AM
That *is* a great turnout! Thanks, Eric, for sharing

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