B y J i m N i n t z e l
WHILE PRIMARY ELECTION day is still nearly four weeks away, Tucsonans already can go to the polls through the city's new absentee ballot program, which has voting booths set up across town.
City staffers are hoping the early voting opportunity will mean more voters will participate in the September 19 primary. Primary races generally draw only a tiny percentage of the electorate--in 1993, only 8.9 percent cast a vote.
This year, Tucson's Democrats have to choose between Mayor George Miller and his challenger, Ward 1 Councilman Bruce Wheeler. Democrats in westside Ward 1 have a choice of five candidates in the race to replace Wheeler, including Irma Yepez-Perez, Jose Ibarra, Luis Gonzales, Ruben Romero and Rudy Bejerano. In southeastern Ward 4, where Councilman Roger Sedlmayr is retiring after two terms, Democrats will have to choose between Jean Wilkins and Shirley Scott, while Republicans will vote for Todd Clodfelter or Bill King. (More information about the candidates can be found in this week's feature story.)
Voters are apparently taking advantage of the opportunity to cast an early vote. City staffers tell The Weekly that 1,500 ballots were initially sent out and about 300 more are requested each day.
Of course, we suggest you wait a few weeks so we can tell you more about the candidates, but if you're really itching to cast your ballot, you can do it at a whole bunch of places, including City Hall, the Tucson Mall, the east and west campuses of Pima Community College and most city libraries and recreation centers. Call 791-2522 for the location nearest you.
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