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Everything Running Smooth, County Says

When the clock strikes 8 p.m., more than 80 percent of Santa Barbara County voters will have voted, County Registrar Joe Holland said, who anticipates record turnout.

In 2004, the county saw 81 percent turnout, the highest since 1976. The only thing that might hold up turnout is if network television starts calling the race, which might discourage people from continuing to turn out.

Holland expects to begin posting results sometime between 8 and 8:15 p.m. We should be able to get a good idea of a lot of the local races right away, as more than 60,000 vote-by-mail ballots will be counted at that time.

Those who chose not to vote-by-mail have encountered a pretty smooth process, according to Holland, who said there were no big problems or long lines today. The longest he saw were between 30 and 40, and that was people gathered to vote even before polls opened at 7 a.m. He estimated it took people 20 minutes to get from the back of the line to putting their ballot into the machine.

Everyone he encountered was "thrilled" to participate. "It's pretty cool," Holland said. "Everyone's excited to be a part of this historic election."

Don't forget, you can vote until 8 p.m.!

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