Welcome to Independent.com‘s online election coverage for Tuesday, November 7. Throughout this evening, until about 10 p.m. or when the webmaster passes out, The Indy‘s reporters and editors will be sending in updates over the Internet and cell phone regarding the numerous races and their related parties. Once the clock hits 8 p.m., make sure to link to the county elections office to get the live updates on the election results. To do so, go to www.sbcvote.com.
Until then, all we’ve got to report is that the turnout around Santa Barbara has been happily high. Poll workers have reported steady streams of voters all day long and, at about 6:15 p.m., there was a line out the door of the First United Methodist Church on the corner of Garden and Anapamu. One recent voter on his way out quipped, “I got writer’s cramp in there!” in reference to the large number of items on this November’s ballot.
The large number of voters today is quite a reversal of the dismal June turnouts. It’s no doubt tied to the importance that this election has on a national scale as the Democrats make their first real challenge during the Bush administration to take over Congress. Early reports show that the Republicans are losing. One example is the conservative leaning Ohio River Valley, where, according to Forbes.com, the Democrats booted four Republican reps from their seats, with a fifth likely to lose as well. The Democrats need to pick up 15 seats to wrangle control away from the Republicans in the House and six seats to take control of the Senate. But enough about the rest of the country — doesn’t the world revolve around Santa Barbara County?
So what can you expect on this website tonight? As usual, there’ll be some coverage from the county’s elections office, located at the southwest corner of the courthouse. The scene there consists of politicos, aides, media types, gadflies, and various other hangers-on. It’s been both bustling and dead over the years, but this year we’re expecting quite a crowd, with so much on the line.
Otherwise, here’s a rundown of where reporters from The Indy will be this evening:
Ethan Stewart will be at the Endless Summer, where Doctor Dan Secord is holding court. Secord’s challenger for the 2nd District is Janet Wolf, and Stewart will be checking her party at SOhO on State Street. SOhO is also the hoedown hotspot for Lois Capps (a shoo-in), Measure D, Pedro Nava, and school board candidates Kate Parker and Suzy Cawthon.
Nick Welsh is planning (at least at the time of this posting) to head down to Carpinteria to find the house of Carp city council candidate Al Clark. If Welsh finds the place, he’ll be in the company of two other Carp candidates: the current mayor Brad Stein and Gregg Carty. No word on where Greg Gandrud and Ron Hurd, the other two vying for the three seats open, will be tonight.
Martha Sadler and photo partner Shannon Kelley “Gonzo” Gould will be reporting from the Good Land, where six candidates are vying for three seats. She’ll be calling in with updates from Pascucci (where Goleta City Council incumbents Cynthia Brock, Jack Hawxhurst, and Margaret Connell are hanging out) and Zodos (where Michael Bennett and Eric Onnen will be stationed). And lastly, Roger Aceves, the sixth candidate, will be at Luigis.
And of course there’s Paul Wellman, our photographer who will be basically everywhere.
That about does it for now, so check in again soon for another Indy update.