New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 7, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 149 No. 271 14 pages in 2 sections November 7, 2000 rT'x tt-»*it Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
Comal County polling places, sample ballots/4B
Texans support Bush, turn out for election/3A
Bush, Gore reach the final stretch/3B
Where presidential See city’s special Every vote counts
candidates stand election results on today/6A
on the issues/3B TV/4A
California ballots might tie up presidential results for days
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — So many California voters have requested absentee ballots that Americans might not know which presidential candidate won tonight.
Or even Wednesday night.
A record 3.2 million Californians have requested absentee ballots which could leave the results of close races through
out the state in doubt for days or even weeks. California’s 54 electoral votes promise to be critical in the hunt for the White House.
More than I million of those absentee ballots, or nearly IO percent of the, 12 million votes expected in California, will not be counted on election night, according to county election officials surveyed
by The Associated Press.
Vice President Al Gore has been leading in California polls but not by an overwhelming amount.
A recent Field Poll showed Gore ahead of Texas Gov. George W. Bush by 7 percentage points with a 3 percentage point margin of error, but it also showed 6 percent of those polled were still undecided.
Alfie Charles, spokesman for Secretary of State Bill Jones, said the estimates that I million absentee ballots might not be counted by election night sounded right because of the growth in absentee applications in the state.
In 1980, absentee voting counted for 6.3 percent of the vote in California; in 1990, it was 18.4 percent; and in 1998, it
was 24.7 percent, or 2.1 million ballots.
For the closest races, he said, it could be one to two weeks after the election before the results might be known.
In 1994, when 22 percent of the voters cast absentee ballots, Sen. Dianne Fein-stein’s narrow victory over Republican Michael Huffmgton wasn’t confirmed until 2 1/2 weeks after the election.
America goes to the polls
Party chairs predict who will win the White House
By Jo Lee Ferguson
Local Democratic and Republican Party leaders are laying claim to a victory today for their presidential candidates.
But no one expects that the victory — whoever wins — will be a landslide.
Texas Gov. George W. Bush and his vice presidential candidate, Dick Cheney, are neck and neck against Vice President Al Gore and his running mate, Joe Lieberman.
Polls show that Bush is just slightly ahead of Gore, according to the CNN Web-site.
“Right now, the way the vote is going, I think George W. Bush will win solid,’’ Comal County Republican Party Chairman Don Hensz said. “I think it will be a solid election. I don’t think it will be a squeaker.”
But Comal County Democratic Party Chairman Atanacio “Nacho” Campos predicts Gore will win in spite of the polls.
“I think he will win the Electoral College votes,” Campos said.
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K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Volunteers Andrea Boldt (left) and Robbie Borchers discuss last-minute details at the Republican headquarters, 215 S. Seguin, Monday afternoon.
The Comal County Republican Party is having an election night party after the polls close at 7 p.m. today. The festivities will be at the party headquarters, 215 S. Seguin, across from Pizza Hut.
CHS students go to work as election officials today
By Jennifer Rodriguez
Slipping into the fast-paced rhythm of teen-age discourse, four Canyon High School students excited about their first election talked over each other about their jobs as precinct clerks today.
When they serve as Precinct 20 clerks today, they become the first high school students in Comal County to get tapped for election duty.
Over the years, County Clerk Joy Streater has watched the pool of precinct clerks shrink, so she asked CHS teacher Kathy Simmons if she thought she could get students to sign up.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Canyon students Glenn Brietzke, Amanda Kohlenberg, Sasha Bulkley and Amanda Luckemeyer will work at the Precinct 20 polling site today in the Canyon High School gymnasium.
Officials brace for big turnout
By Ron Maloney
Election workers prepared early ballots for counting late Monday and readied themselves for what could be record voter turnout at the polls today.
Comal County Elections Coordinator Linnell Hinojosa said turnout today well could rival the 80 percent this county saw in 1992. Twenty-five thousand of the county's 31,000 registered voters cast their ballots in that presidential election.
“That was our biggest turnout up till now,” Hinojosa said.
In the 1996 presidential election, turnout in Comal County was 57 percent.
“Usually, early (voting) runs between a third and a half of Election Day,” Hinojosa said. “In 1992,1 had
9.000 early voters, and this year I have 14,000.”
If the 14,000 ballots from early and mail-in voting are any indication,
25.000 or more county residents could vote today, Hinojosa said. Comal County has 56,000 registered voters.
Hinojosa said voters could expect polls to be busiest right after they open at 7 a.m. and then again after 5
“A lot of people want to vote before work, and some want to vote afterwards. That’s usually when the rush is,” she said.
Hinojosa said voters should bring their voter registration cards. Voters who do not have their registration cards will have to bring identification showing their physical addresses.
Program lets local residents be Blue Santas for holidays
More than 300 children to be served this year
By Jennifer Rodriguez
During a recent lunch break, tiny Kookie Barboza lugged a Christmas tree taller than herself to the Sundance Golf Course for the fourth annual Blue Santa Program.
Shoppers now can find at several locations around town trees flocked in blue paper ornaments holding the Christmas wishes of more than 300 children.
The Blue Santa Program is like Grandma’s secret fruitcake recipe: it depends on a pinch of ingredients from a variety of sources such as the New Braunfels Police Department, Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Communities in Schools, businesses and residents.
Unlike other gift drives, the Blue Santa Program collects the children’s wish lists so donors can buy the gifts the children want.
“All you have to do is stop by one of the stores — our tree is right at the entrance — pick a card, buy the gift and drop it
there,” said Bill Gray, president of the alumni group and chairman of the Blue Santa Program. “It’s
Communities in Schools representatives select families who have a financial need and coordinate with the Community Service Center to eliminate multiple gifts to the same family.
The families range from those with ongoing financial problems to those who have experienced job loss or recent parental separation.
Blue Santa organizers said they tried to give every child on their list at least two articles of cloth
ing and two toys.
“We’re not concerned with why children won’t get anything for Christmas. Our concern is that they do get something for Christmas,” Barboza said.
Blue Santa has taken off in Comal County. The first year, organizers gave presents to the children of 35 families. Now in its fourth year, Blue Santa will deliver presents to the children of about IOO families.
“Every year that we’ve grown, we feel like we’re able to touch more lives,” Gray said.
The NBPD and the citizens alumni association lead Blue
Santa efforts. On Christmas Eve, police officers will deliver the wrapped presents.
“It helps get the individual officers in touch with the children of the community and helps them see the officers in a positive situation,” Gray said.
Donors should find Blue Santa gift trees at Sundance Golf Course, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Ross, City Hall, New Braunfels Public Library and New Braunfels Police Department.
After picking up a tag, turn it in with the new, unwrapped present to the same location as the Blue Santa tree, or the NBPD.
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