Today is the day to have a say

Although turnout is expected to be relatively light, voters in the region and throughout the state have many reasons to go to the polls today.

Many already have done so by mailing in ballots.

In Stanislaus County, voters will decide on two seats on the Board of Supervisors, choose between two men running for sheriff, pick among six candidates running for judge and determine a host of other countywide offices.

Across the region, there are competitive Republican primaries for congressional and legislative positions as well as the governor's race and a U.S. Senate seat. There are five state initiatives, including a proposal to open the primary system and a PG&E-backed plan to limit utility competition.

Here are other things voters need to know about today's election:

WHEN: Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. People who have not returned mail ballots can drop them off at any polling place during these hours or at county election offices. They should not mail them.

WHERE: Polling places are on sample ballots sent to voters a few weeks ago. Election offices also can provide the location.

RESULTS: will report results after 8 p.m. as they are released by county and state election officials. Mailed ballots received by last week will be counted first, then ballots from the polls. Mailed ballots received after Saturday won't be counted until later this week. The same is true for write-in and provisional ballots for people whose voting status is in question. Election offices have 28 days to complete the count.

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