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First Day Of In-Person Voting Gets Underway In San Diego County

Poll workers stands outside the Malcom X Branch Library, a ballot drop off lo...

Photo by Andi Dukleth

Above: Poll workers stands outside the Malcom X Branch Library, a ballot drop off location in San Diego County. Oct. 31, 2020.

It's an unusual election year. The pandemic has pushed more voters to vote by mail. The polls also opened for in-person voting Saturday morning, three days before the traditional election day, to help keep the lines down.

Voting in person is still a milestone for Jazmine Scott, 19, who was voting for the first time.

Listen to this story by Steve Walsh.

“I dropped it off because, why mail it in when I am physically able to come to the polls,” Scott said. “And this the first time. And why would I trust mailing it, in the mail, when I can bring it in and know for sure that my vote will get counted.”

She came with her aunt to the super polling location at the Encanto Recreation Center.

Evelyne Ibarra handed in her ballot at the drop off center at the nearby Valencia Park/Malcolm X Branch Library.

“I was too scared of mailing it out,” she said. “I just want to make sure that my vote is there and they have it and it counts.”

Photo caption:

Photo by Andi Dukleth

A super polling place at the Encanto Recreation Center in San Diego County. Oct. 31, 2020.

It may be the first day of in-person voting but more than a million voters have already mailed in or dropped off their votes in San Diego County — that’s roughly half of all registered voters. It’s also more than double the number of ballots that had been cast by this time in 2016.

Dorian Wicks is an election worker at the drop off location at Malcolm X Library. She says voters are asking about security.

“I know there are questions about the chain of custody regarding mail-in ballots,” Wicks said. “So we let people know if they are not picked up on a daily basis that they are locked up overnight. We care very much about the chain of custody to make sure people’s ballots are secure.”

Because of the pandemic, 235 super polling locations were created along with 126 mail ballot drop off locations. It means many voters who choose to vote in person will have a different location from the last election. Voters are asked to check with the county or the secretary of State’s office for the locations. The polling place should also be listed on the ballot mailed to every voter in California.

Reported by Steve Walsh , Video by Andi Dukleth

Election 2020 news coverage

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Steve Walsh
Military Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover military and veterans issues for KPBS and American Homefront, a partnership of public radio stations and NPR. I cover issues ranging from delpoying troops along the California border to efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.

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