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2-hour waits in LA during early voting on weekend
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some voters in Los Angeles County waited more than two hours to cast their ballots in long lines at weekend early voting centers, an election official said Sunday.

During peak times on Saturday, people waited more than two hours for their turn to vote at centers in North Hollywood and Culver City, said Mike Sanchez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder.

More than 3,200 people cast their ballots Saturday at five such centers across the county and nearly 2,000 had done so by early Sunday afternoon, he said.

“We’re working as hard and as quickly as we can to get people in and out,” Sanchez said. “People are eager to get their voices heard.”

Officials don’t expect long lines on Nov. 8 as voting is spread out throughout the county’s precincts.

There are more than 5 million registered voters in Los Angeles County.

It was the first time that the county offered expanded early voting at these weekend centers. Some reasons for the waits were that poll workers had to pull different ballots for voters from different parts of the county and the overall length of the ballot in California, Sanchez said.

So far in Los Angeles County, voters are casting ballots at a similar pace to 2008, he said. That year, turnout in the county was 82 percent as President Barack Obama was first elected president.

In neighboring Orange County, early voting numbers are also similar to 2008 levels, said Neal Kelley, the county’s registrar of voters. On Saturday, people were waiting outside early voting centers before they opened, he said. On Sunday, there was a steady stream of voters, but wait times averaged about 10 minutes at midday, he said.

Up north in San Francisco, waits to cast a vote at City Hall were at most a few minutes despite high turnout, said John Arntz, director of the city’s elections department. The office had a record 700 people vote on Saturday, Arntz said. That’s up from a little over 600 on the first Saturday that early voting was available during the November 2008 election.