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BKN-NBA-FINAL-LAKERS CELT.jpgVoter turnout is already expected to be low today, but anxious candidates have another component to factor in: Game 3 of the NBA Finals, which starts at 6 p.m. tonight with the Los Angeles Lakers facing off against the Boston Celtics in Boston.

Campaigns are clearly worried that people will skip voting after work to watch the game, which is a real likelihood in Southern California. The region's normally packed freeways were virtually empty Sunday night during Game 2, when Boston tied the series at 1-1.

Candidates will also have to consider the Lakers factor when planning their victory or concession speeches. Polls close at 8 p.m., and election results should be coming out over the next hour - just as the game is likely to wrap up.

Already, opponents of Proposition 17, which would affect auto insurance rates, and the campaign of Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate Janice Hahn have sent out news releases urging voters to cast ballots before the game, with Hahn's campaign touting their endorsement from former Laker star Magic Johnson. Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's victory party will be broadcasting the game at least in the media room.

IMAGE: Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce (L) tries to block LA Lakers guard Shannon Brown (R) before Boston Celtics went on to win 103-94 in game two of the NBA finals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 6, 2010. CREDIT: Mark Ralston/Getty Images.


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