Election Officials Prepare As San Diego Polls Open Saturday For In-Person Voting
Friday, October 30, 2020
Photo by Shalina Chatlani
Early in-person voting officially begins on Saturday, which means more ballots will be flowing into polling sites.
And one of those super poll sites, which will be open for a four day period including election day, is Mira Mesa Recreation Center, where Registrar of Voters Michael Vu held a press conference Friday.
“Right now, we have nearly one million mail ballots that have been returned back to our office. But we know that there are many voters that are out there that still need to turn in their mail ballot, may have not received their mail ballot or may have made a mistake on their respective mail ballot and need a replacement,” Vu said.
“If you have your mail ballot in hand, return it back to any one of the 126 mail ballot drop locations that we have currently open throughout the entire county. These locations are separate, apart from the 235 super polling locations that we have out there.”
The super poll sites are open between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those hours are extended on Election Day to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Some voters say they’ve appreciated the more numerous voting options this year, like Chula Vista resident Shevette Maultsby.
“I think the changes to the voting laws this year were good and I think they were good enough. I just put my ballot in and the box was full. So, I think more people have a wider range of time and places to vote and that more people are actually coming out to vote,” Maultsby said.
“I’ve been following all the information and doing my research. I was able to make decisions so when the ballot came I was ready to mark it and return it … I always wondered how we could have all the 50 days voting in one day, and know the president in one day. Having extra time means every vote will be counted.”
North Park resident Jeremiah Doran said he also thinks the greater amount of voting time is good.
“More relaxed is better. If everyone who can legitimately vote gets a chance to vote and (we) make it easier for everyone, you hear the voice of people more," he said.
And registrar Michael Vu says he’s also worked on making sure people can feel safe at these in-person voting sites, like Mira Mesa Recreation Center.
“We will have a workers standing up and hand sanitizing as well as the wipes, and then they will check in the individuals,” he said.
He said if a person does not go to their assigned polling location, they will be offered the opportunity to vote on a ballot-marking device. Voters with disabilities will also have that option.
Vu said the registrar has also worked with law enforcement to keep voting safe.
“We are closely working with our law enforcement agencies and not just our sheriff officers, but all of the allied agencies. The sheriff is coordinating with all of the allied law enforcement agencies throughout the entire county,” Vu said.
Vu says it’s up to voters to try to be patient with long lines, try to vote over the four day period to reduce crowds and wear their masks and socially distance.
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