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Polls open at 7 a.m. for Measure B

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The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, Tuesday, Nov. 19, for those Sonoma residents who haven’t mailed in their ballot on Measure B, the Hotel Limitation Measure.

The measure would ban construction of hotels with more than 25 rooms or the expansion of a hotel to more than 25 rooms until overall occupancy in existing hotels and inns reaches a yearly average of 80 percent or more.

As of Monday, the county’s registrar of voters reported that 2,829 ballots had been received – or 43 percent of the 6,457 registered voters.

Polling places include Merrill Gardens, 800 Oregon St.; Sonoma 
United  Methodist Church, 109 Patten St.; Sonoma Valley High School, 20000 Broadway and the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First St. W. Anyone who has a mail-in ballot that they haven’t mailed, can drop it off at any of the four polling stations.

Bill Boerum, who has supervised previous elections at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building on First Street West, will be on duty again Tuesday. Four clerks will assist voters in precinct 1801 and others returning mail ballots. Boerum said, “Interestingly, in recent elections, we’ve actually had more mail ballots dropped off than we’ve had people voting on site. Folks are so busy that they either forget or don’t get around to mailing their ballots, so they walk them in.”

Boerum said, “If someone has lost their mail-ballot or messed it up someway, or doesn’t recall receiving any notification about the election but think they’re entitled to vote, they should still come to a polling place. We’ll be glad to issue a provisional ballot. We want to give every registered person the opportunity to vote and have their ballot counted.”

However, Boerum pointed out that only voters living within the City of Sonoma can vote on this measure. People who live outside city limits may think they have a right to vote because they’ve seen campaign signs just outside the city, but Measure B is strictly an ordinance for the City of Sonoma, he added.