Whether it's the Measure B parcel tax to benefit local public schools or the finally-nearing-the-finishing-line presidential race, voters turned out to the polls early in Mill Valley on Election Day 2012.
Most locations were packed during the first two hours, from 7 a.m. until about 9 a.m.
"There was a line this morning that we haven't had in years," said Election Official Frederick Cobey at the Almonte Improvement Club. By 2:30 p.m., 332 votes had been cast. Other polling places reported a similar solid turnout in the 94941, indicating that a loaded regional, state and national lineup was enough to get people out to the polls despite a light local slate in the Nov. 6 election.
At the Tam Valley Community Center, which is one of three polling locations in the county that's testing out a new ePoll book where voters are checked into their precincts electronically, Chief Inspector Lynn Eichinger said they processed nearly 600 ballots by mid-day.
"We're on track to have 1,200 people vote," she said, which mirrors the numbers for the last presidential election.
"I think emotions are running high in this election on both sides," Eichinger said. The state propositions, along with local ballot measures such as the Measure B parcel tax, seemed to be a draw for those in Mill Valley.
Almonte resident Carroll Stevens, for instance, was temporarily torn between the local Measure B parcel tax to support the Mill Valley School District, and Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 to fund education state-wide.
"It was a particularly hard decision this year because of Proposition 30, where you're voting to tax yourself twice for the same purpose," he said. In the end, the public safety funding element of Proposition 30 won him over, and he voted 'yes' on both.
Although everything went smoothly, there were still a few surprises. The Mill Valley Community Center saw "an unusual number of people who were not on the roster," said Election Official Lynn Breger. By 2 p.m. they had about a dozen provisional ballots left out of 100, and had to order another box.
Across the board, poll workers expect traffic to pick up even more between 5 p.m. and when the polls close at 8 p.m. And while the local and state issues were a major draw, voters also remained focused on what this day means for the nation.
Mahendra Arvind, a Democrat originally from India who asked to have his picture taken just before casting his ballot, said he was honored to be participating in such a historic presidential election.
"Not only our country," he said, "but the whole world is excited."
Did you vote yet? How was the turnout at your polling place? Post your photos here!
Here's what else is happening on on Election Day on Mill Valley Patch:
- Marin County Election Results 2012
- Election Results 2012: California Propositions
- California Election Results 2012: POTUS, Federal, State Races
- Election Day: Where Are Mill Valley's Polling Places?
- Patch Election Day Photos from Around the Country
- Patch and AOL Send Hurricane Sandy Relief Trucks to Long Island and New Jersey
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