Poll workers expecting healthy turnout

Many mail-in ballots dropped off at Palo Alto polling places this morning

Polls throughout Palo Alto opened at 7 a.m. this morning for the 2014 General Election, with workers reporting a normal turnout after the first few hours of voting and looking forward to the expected lunchtime and after-work rushes.

"It's been steady since 7 a.m.," said Tammy Gravelle, a precinct inspector at a polling place at 2121 Waverley St. "The majority of people coming are vote-by-mail people."

According to its website, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters has already received about 31 percent of the 27,621 mail-in ballots sent out to Palo Alto voters. Gravelle approximated that about two thirds of visitors to the polling place were dropping off mail-in ballots.

"A lot of neighborhood people like to come in ... drop off their ballots and get their stickers," she said, explaining that voters seem to enjoy filling out ballots at home but still want to be part of election day.

The same trend was visible at the polling place at Palo Alto Community Child Care at Ventura Court, where some voters strolled into the activity center with blue mail-in ballots in hand.

Alice Smith, a precinct inspector for one of the two polls there, said that things seemed to be going well this morning. She predicted voting would speed up later in the day, particularly after 6 p.m.

"I think there'll be a good turnout out today," she said.

Local residents dropped by on their bicycles to vote, and others brought their children along.

"Did you get your sticker?" Smith asked one child, accompanied by a parent, as they were on their way out.

Smith, a Palo Alto resident who is volunteering in her sixth election, said that she enjoys being a part of the election process, ensuring that everyone can vote and "votes correctly."

On Waverley Street, Gravelle echoed that sentiment, saying that she enjoys encouraging "democracy in America." Since the poll there -- located in a garage at an ivy-covered private residence -- is also her polling location, working there allows her to say hi to friends and catch up with neighbors whom she hasn't seen for a while.

"So that makes it fun, too," Gravelle said.

Results of today's election will be posted throughout the evening on, including interviews with the candidates, photos and more starting at 8 p.m. Also follow us on

Find your polling station and other information about voting today by reading What you need to know to cast your vote.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Chad
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm

[Portion removed.]

In fact, everyone reading this, everyone voting today -- Make sure you can track the status of your vote with just your address and birth day (to see that they counted it) on the county website:
Web Link

[Portion removed.] If we have a healthy turnout despite low turnout in the state, it's almost certainly a dissatisfaction with the status quo -- I would be very skeptical of if the result somehow doesn't reflect that.

Like this comment
Posted by Ummmm. Paranoid much?
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Though I didn't read Smith's comments and I don't personally know her, I have confidence in the system. All of the poll workers keep an eye on each other. [Portion removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Chad
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm

[Post removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Chad
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

[Post removed.]

3 people like this
Posted by Dissatisfied
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm

The healthy turnout in PA is almost certainly due to voter dissatisfaction with incumbents, and the desire to control the damage the incumbents have caused, by voting then OUT!

Like this comment
Posted by PAUSD Mom
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Nov 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm

I was approached twice today directly in front of a PASUD classroom by a person with literature for school board candidate Catherine Crystal Foster. I thought campaigning on school property was a no-no. Whenever the candidates themselves have visited schools, they always, always, always stand outside the schools on public sidewalks, so I have to assume this is what they're supposed to do. I was a little torn about who to vote for in the school board election, but this approach (whether sanctioned by the Foster campaign or not - and I'd like to think it was a rogue supporter) really sours me on her candidacy. I consider this tactic extremely unfair campaigning and totally inappropriate. Anybody else experience school board campaigning at their schools today, inside school property?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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