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November Election Around The Corner, With Some Tweaks From Prior Years

An early voting and registration sign is shown inside the San Diego Registrar of Voters' office, Feb. 18, 2020.
Tarryn Mento
An early voting and registration sign is shown inside the San Diego Registrar of Voters' office, Feb. 18, 2020.
This year voters will have more time and more ways to cast their ballots. But, there will be fewer polling sites.

The November election is just around the corner, but polling will be much different this year than in the past. This year voters will have more time and more ways to cast their ballots.

Already there are about 1.9 million registered voters in San Diego County. That’s up 13% from 2016’s general election. The registrar’s office also expects turnout to be at around 80%.

November Election Around The Corner, With Some Tweaks From Prior Years
Listen to this Shalina Chatlani.

Of course, with coronavirus, it means election officials are asking voters to take special precautions, like wearing masks and social distancing when voting in person. If voters don’t want to wear a mask while casting their ballots in person, they will be asked to go to a curbside voting site outside.

But then there’s also the option to vote by mail. All active registered voters will be sent a mail ballot this year. Ballots should start arriving by Oct. 5, says County Registrar of Voters, Michael Vu.

And when it comes to voting in person, there will also be a few changes this year.

“There will be fewer polling stations than in the past,” Vu said. "Normally we have the election with approximately 1,600 neighborhood polling locations. But because of the pandemic, because these locations are frankly too small to ensure the surge of voter turnout doesn’t violate physical distancing requirements, we are now consolidating those into 235 super poll locations."

Video: November Election Around The Corner, With Some Tweaks From Prior Years

Those super poll locations will be open for a four-day period.

“That is to allow voters to cast their ballot in safety to distribute voters across a four-day period.”

Vu said the registrar's office has doubled the number of mail ballot drop-off locations to 126. They will be open through election day, Nov. 3. He says this year, ballots can be received up to 17 days after Nov. 3, as long as it’s postmarked by election day.

“We doubled the total number of drop-off locations as we did in March and the total amount of time that they will be open is four-time as long as March,” he said.

Vu says voters can begin returning their ballots to local polling sites or via the mail as soon as they receive them and fill them out.

“We are only as good as voters once they receive their ballot, vote it and get it back to us for us to process it all the way through,” Vu said.

The two candidates vying to be San Diego’s next mayor would each likely take the city in different directions on issues like affordable housing, transportation and climate action. Also, deadly wildfires in California have burned more than 4 million acres (6,250 square miles) this year — more than double the previous record.. Most of that acreage has been in California’s Wine Country at the height of this year’s harvest. Plus, a fact check on what is and isn’t allowed at the voter polls this November.

Explore a comprehensive ballot guide, polling and ballot drop-off locators, live results on election night as well as reporting on candidates and issues.