Marijuana Legalization Backers Claim California Youth Vote Is Turning Out To Back Prop. 19

Updated after the jump with confirmation that some polling places near college campuses in San Diego did run out of provisional ballots. First posted at 2:17 p.m.

Organizers of the campaign to legalize marijuana on Tuesday claimed that the youth vote -- a must-win demographic for Prop. 19 -- was coming out in droves, inspired by the initiative that would make pot legal.

True? We're not sure.

A Prop. 19 spokesman told the Weekly that turnout was so strong at a polling place near San Diego State University that it ran out of provisional ballots and that poll workers were scrambling to restock them.

We put a call in to a San Diego County Registrar's spokeswoman to see what she had to say. She was looking into it.

While every poll we've seen had Prop. 19 losing, it would probably win if the vote were confined to the under-40 set. But that's a group that votes in much fewer numbers than the geezer crowd.

If Prop. 19's boosters are right, and young folks got off the bean-bag chairs to vote for this thing, it could be a real contest.

Update: San Diego County registrar Deborah Seiler tells the Weekly that polling places near San Diego State, UC San Diego and Cal State San Marcos (in northern San Diego County) were either critically low or in fact had run out of provisional ballots thanks to a run on the booths by students and young people.

They were being replenished this afternoon.

"It is unusual," she said. "It seemed like there was all of a sudden this issue -- we discovered it about an hour ago."

Asked whether the young people were inspired by Prop. 19, Seiler said, "That might be the case. I don't know what caused this."

She said that students might want to vote near campus but if they're registered at home or elsewhere their votes won't count.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, registrar's spokeswoman Eileen Shey said if there was a run on provisional ballots near college campuses here she probably wouldn't know it: She said there was a three-pronged "fail-safe" system to ensure that there are plenty of provisional ballots at the ready.


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