Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/26/2011 01:23:03 PM PDT

San Bernardino County voters will see fewer polling places on Election Day.

County election officials are consolidating the number of precincts because of low turnout at some locations.

Average turnout at the county’s 245 polling places in 2009 was 45 voters at each, with some seeing fewer than a dozen voters. There will be 84 polling places in the county on Nov. 8.

“We had one polling place in 2009 that had one voter all day, 35 polling places that had 10 or fewer voters, and 100 locations that had 20 or fewer voters all day,” said Michael Scarpello, the county’s registrar of voters. “So what we have done is we have combined a lot of those precincts into less locations so that each location will be running more efficiently.

“They’ll all be busier.”

New polling locations might be slightly farther than their previous location for voters, but county elections officials said the new locations won’t be too far.

Average travel distance for San Bernardino Valley residents will be three-quarters of a mile. High Desert residents might have to travel an average of two miles.

Officials said such barriers as freeways, train tracks or city boundaries will not impede voters on their way to polling places.

Locations, officials said, will be in prominent, well-maintained facilities with adequate and ADA-accessible parking.

The registrar has also made it a priority to make voting by mail more convenient for those who want to vote from home by increasing the number of mail ballot drop-off sites, many of them at city clerk’s offices and local libraries.

To read entire story, click here.