5 Things To Watch This March Primary Election
Speaker 1: 00:00 Super Tuesday is here. The polls have been open in California's presidential primary for about five hours now. San Diego are of course weighing in on the presidential race along with a number of local races, including the hotly contested 50th district congressional race to the San Diego mayor's race along with two countywide land use measures and much more joining us as San Diego County register of voters, Michael WGU and Michael. Welcome. Thank you. How is voting going so far at the registrar's office and around the County? Well here at the registrar of voters office, it's been eerily quiet and uh, that could be because individuals are voting at their assigned polling location or dropping off their mail ballot out there. But it's unusually uh, light in terms of individuals coming here. There are no waiting lines. So if there are individuals that want to participate in this election that needs to register and vote at the same time because they're not registered, probably now is the time to get to our office cause I anticipate that the lines will only just build a from here on out. Speaker 1: 01:02 Have you heard of any problems around the County so far? No major issues that are out there. All just same issues that we expect from every given election that it's out there, but nothing systemic or major that we've seen thus far. Everything opened up pretty nicely this morning as best as it's going to be. When you're dealing, uh, in, in managing 1,548 PT sinks as well as the eight to 9,000 poll workers. Now this is the first election where California voters can register and vote on the same day. And do you have any sense how that is going in San Diego? You know what, I don't, I, I've heard that it's so far, anecdotally, things are, are quiet. Uh, again, we have so many more mail ballot voters, uh, than we did back in the 2016 presidential primary election. So I expect a lot of those individuals are dropping off their mail ballot or will be voting at their assigned polling location on election day. Speaker 1: 01:56 As far as the conditional voter registration, people registering and voting the same days. Uh, today I, I haven't really heard too much related to that, but certainly I haven't heard long lines either. And that's what generally is the first key to see whether or not conditional voter registration is having heavily at any of the respect of polling location or at our satellite locations. Right. So the four new satellite offices to help with voting and same day registration have been open since this weekend. What can you tell us about how that's been going? It's been good. It's been a, a decent turnout at these respective sites knowing that this is the first time that we've ever opened up satellite locations throughout the entire County. That's been a, a nice feature and a number of individuals have participated in get a gun, get into one of these satellite voting locations over the weekend and of course, uh, yesterday and today. Speaker 1: 02:45 So, uh, the satellite locations are well-equipped for individuals to register and vote or simply an individual that is registered to vote already and just wants to get into, in, in, in vote and it out of the way. There were reports that some voters were handed the wrong ballots at those satellite offices. Has that been resolved? It has been resolved. We quickly resolve that the morning that we launched into our solid voting location period, uh, within the first 45 minutes, uh, we identified what the issue is and notify any impacted voter. Michael, you talked about how many Malin voters there are in San Diego County now. So my question is how many mail ballots had been returned so far? We have over 350,000 mail bouts that have been returned thus far. That's not including those that we've picked up from the us postal service. I will find out how many came in from today for today. Speaker 1: 03:39 Uh, but those that we received today will most likely not get into tonight's, uh, account, uh, because we still have to process and verify, uh, before we can open it and get into the count. So what percentage of mail ballots have been returned so far? That represents about 26% of all mail bouts that we have, uh, sent out and issued. When I look at that percentage, I compare that against the 2016 presidential primary election and it looks like it's on par to that. So if that's a kind of a teaser of the overall turnout, uh, then we'll see somewhere between a 50 to 55% turnout in the presidential election in 2016 the primary election, it was a 50.9% turnout. So, uh, again, there's still a lot to be known in this election with polling place voters as well as everyone that has a mailed out that's dropping it off at any of the given polling locations today or at our site or at any of the given satellite locations. Speaker 1: 04:37 Here's one, Michael, what about people who may have marked their ballots for a presidential candidate who is no longer in the race? Do they have any hope of changing that? If you still have your mail ballot and you marked a candidate that has now dropped out of the race, what you can do is actually go to your assigned a polling location and get a replacement ballot. What will happen is, is that, uh, you will, we will spoil that initial ballot and issue you a replacement ballot. So whatever you do, make sure you bring that ballot with you to spoil at your assigned pulling location. Make sure you get to your assigned polling location. Or the other thing that you could do if you're one of these situations is get to the satellite location or to the registrar of voters office. With that about in hand in what we will do is give you a clean, fresh ballot for you to vote on. Speaker 1: 05:31 And for people who are still holding onto their mail in ballots is a too late to mail them. I would say no. Legally it is no, but my recommendation and it's a high recommendation, is not to put it through the us postal service because we have to receive it within three days after it being postmark today. And if it's received after that timeframe, we cannot count that ballot. It's not timely. So my suggestion is not put it through the us postal service. My suggestion is get it, get it to any one of the 1,548 precincts, drop it off there and any of those locations or to the draw a ROV site or the satellite locations with all the changes to this election, the new satellite offices, the new touchscreen voting machines that we didn't even talk about. Some say California could end up with lots of problems when it comes to the vote count. Speaker 1: 06:25 Are you concerned about that? You know, we've done a battery of tests related to our new voting system and the tabulation system. Um, I anticipate, uh, that anything could happen in any given election that we conduct here. Um, but we've done the battery tests. So there is a level of confidence that I have related to being able to, uh, produce the election results and post them at eight Oh shortly after eight o'clock. And the polls close at eight, as you just said, but if there are lines, well, you keep the polls open longer. Well, if there is a line at any given polling locations that we have out there, we have to allow those individuals in line at 8:00 PM the ability to vote so that polling location will have to remain open. Now, if there are other polling locations that there is no long line, then those polling locations can close and get those ballots to us, which we will of course receive verify process and get them into the count. Thank you so much. I've been speaking with San Diego County register voters. Michael WGU, thank you for taking time out to speak with us. Thank you.