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What To Expect On San Diego’s Election Day

Deborah Seiler, San Diego Country's Registrar Of Voters, talks to KPBS about what to expect at the voting booth.

Preparation is underway in San Diego for tomorrow's big election. Even with all the mail-in ballots and early voting, Election Day is still the main event for the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voters can find their polling places here.

Deborah Seiler, the San Diego Country Registrar of Voters, said she will have extra staff to field calls from all over the county. But, she said, there have been more early voters this year than any other year.

About 19,000 San Diego County voters cast their ballots on Saturday, she said.

She told City News Service that 901,816 absentee ballots were sent out, and 464,127 had been returned as of this afternoon. About 58 percent of registered Republicans had returned their ballots, compared to 52 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of those who declined to state a preference, according to the registrar.

It is now too late to mail in ballots, Seiler said, but voters can drop off their ballots at any county polling place on Tuesday.

One thing that characterizes this election is the number of neck-and-neck races and political polls.

Richard Hofstetter, a professor in San Diego State University's department of political science, told KPBS that polling companies have incentive to do polls well because those results are like advertising for their company. If their predictions are close to the outcome, people will be more likely to use their polling services in the future.

But, he said, campaigns also attempt to sway polls or release selective information about poll results.

Differing poll results like those from SD Metro Magazine, U-T San Diego and SurveyUSA can be caused by the polls' samples, when they were conducted and what questions were asked.

"That's typically not released in the press," Hofstetter said.

About 34 percent of U.S. voters are now cell phone only, and those voters are more likely to be younger, immigrants, or more educated, he said.

"Those people are different than others, so there are built-in population biases," he said. "A good survey firm will try to correct that statistically, by weighting."

Richard Hofstetter, professor in San Diego State University's department of political science, talks to KPBS about political polls.

Claire Trageser contributed to this report.

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