Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The polls are now open in San Diego County. Joining us on Morning Edition is county Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler (SIGH-ler) Seiler.
DWANE BROWN (Anchor): The polls are now open in San Diego County for today’s primary election. Joining us on Morning Edition is County Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler. Well the polls have been open for about 30 minutes Deborah, have you heard of any problems at polling places and how’s it going this morning?
SEILER (Registrar): Things have been going very smoothly this morning. Of course about 6 a.m. in the morning we always hear about somebody who doesn’t have the keys to their polling place and those lost minute kinds of things have been resolved and I think that the polls have opened very smoothly today.
PAMELA DAVIS (Anchor): How has your office prepared for this day?
SEILER: We have been preparing for months for this day. We have 1,449 polling places. We have over 200 different ballot types. We’ve mailed out over 680,000 mail ballots. And of course we’ve been training 5,000-plus poll workers for several months.
BROWN: How would you compare this primary to those in the past?
SEILER: This primary is pretty typical. Generally, what we see in a four-year election cycle, which is the gubernatorial primary in general and then the presidential primary in general is that the gubernatorial primary tends to be the lowest turnout election in that four-year cycle. The reasons for that are not entirely clear. I think that people don’t necessarily understand the true nature of a primary election and also I think they tend to loose focus on just how many important local issues there are on the ballot.
DAVIS: And then when do you start planning for the November general election?
SEILER: We are already planning for the November election. I have staff as we speak beginning to process a candidate information guide, so that candidate filing starts next month.
BROWN: And you didn’t speak of the projection actually today in terms of the percentage of voters expected to either submit ballots or already have by mail. What’s the projection?
SEILER: We’re projecting that about one-third of all of the voters will come out to vote. About 35 percent overall turnout. Now we’ve sent 680,000 mail ballots. We have in-house as we speak over 200,000 and we’ll see those results tonight at 8 p.m. when the polls close. So overall I’m thinking that we’ll probably have of the 35 percent over half of those people who will have cast their vote by mail.
DAVIS: Deborah, how can voters be prepared when they go to the polls?
SEILER: Well, if they are unsure where to go to vote, they can do a couple of things. First of all if they have their sample ballot booklet, they can look on the back of the booklet – there’s a little colored box on the back of their booklet that indicates where their polling location is. They can also call our main number, which is the 858-565-5800 number. We have staff available to answer their questions. And its very convenient for voters to go to our website at SDVOTE.com. They can click on “Current Elections” and then there’s a menu option there and the second option “Find your polling place.” Just follow the prompts. It’s very easy to do.
DAVIS: That’s San Diego County Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler. She’ll also be appearing on These Days later this morning at 9 a.m. to talk about election day. Deborah thank you so much for joining us.
SEILER: You’re welcome.