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Registrar: Decline-To-State Voters Slower To Return Mail-In Ballots

Photo by Alison St John

Above: "I Voted" stickers at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, May 31, 2018.

San Diego’s Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said about one-third of all the mail-in ballots he sent out have been returned so far. More decline-to-state voters are waiting to send them in than Democrats or Republicans.

About 350,000 of the 1.2 million mail-in ballots have been returned, and Vu said he expects another 80,000 to 100,000 before election day.

Republicans and Democrats make up about an equal share of the returned ballots so far, about 37 percent and 38 percent respectively, Vu said. But a smaller proportion — 21 percent — of the returned ballots are from voters who decline-to-state a party preference. There are now 506,000 decline-to-state voters versus than 487,000 registered Republican voters in San Diego County.

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“That’s where it’ll be in the last 48 hours," Vu said, "in the Monday-Tuesday timeframe — of how those voters are going to vote because there are still quite a few mail ballots still outstanding from the no party preference voters.”

Vu said there are 60 mail-in ballot drop-off locations countywide, compared to 24 last time. They are mostly in public libraries, and voters can find the locations on the back of their sample ballots.

Voters can also vote at the Registrar’s office on Overland Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, whether they have a mail-in ballot or not.

“And you can still register and vote the same day here at our office,” Vu said. “So, if you did not register on time, you still have an opportunity to participate in this election.”

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For those who plan to vote on election day at the polls, Vu suggested voters take the time to fill out their sample ballot first.

“Particularly when there are so many contests on the ballot — it’s a two-card ballot that they will see when they get to the polling place — and if they mark their sample ballot in advance, it will make that process a lot smoother for themselves, as well as any voters that are standing behind them.”

Vu also urges voters to check their assigned polling place by looking at the back of their sample ballot or checking the website, ”sdvote.com.”

San Diego’s Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said about one-third of all the mail-in ballots he sent out have been returned so far. More decline-to-state voters are waiting to send them in than Democrats or Republicans.

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