Early Voting Begins

By Alberto Garcia  17EARLYVOTINGweb1-facebookJumbo

Early voting for the November 8 elections began this past Monday, October 10, with record numbers in what may be a record voter turnout.
According to the San Diego Registrar of Voters, in the first nine hours of balloting alone, 325 people had shown up to cast their ballots at the Registrar of Voters’ office in Kearny Mesa.
This will be an unprecedented election in San Diego due to the number of propositions, candidates, and measures that will appear on one of the lengthiest ballots ever present to voters.
“We are talking about a two-card ballot; which is four pages long and has never been seen before,” said Mariana Bustamante, Spanish Voter Outreach Coordinator at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
The long ballots include races for U.S. President, 184 candidates, 35 local measures, and 17 statewide initiatives.
Because the ballot is lengthy, political experts suggest voters should get to know the pros and cons of each of the proposals.
With so much focus being cast on this election, many San Diego residents are getting an early start on voting. Still, others say they are voting early because they will be out of town on Election Day.
Elisa Rodriguez, a San Diego resident, says she wanted to vote early so that her vote would be counted as soon as possible.
“I wanted to do it as soon as possible because I want my vote to count,” Rodriguez said. “I hope the rest of the voters will make the right decision for our country,” she said after casting her vote at the San Diego Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, October 11.
Election officials shared that those who vote early will be the first to appear in the preliminary results for the presidential election.
“Yes, the people who registered to vote using mail-in ballots, are now getting their ballots at home,” the Registrar’s office Bustamante said. “So, these will be the first votes to be recorded, in addition to other early votes that people are already beginning to cast.”
But voters who chose to cast their ballot on Election Day shouldn’t worry their votes won’t count.
“Those who go to a polling place on November 8 will be counted after,” Bustamante said. “Ballots will be counted over a period of 30 days, which is the timeline for certifying elections,” Bustamante added.
Mail-in voting started on October 11, with 956,000 San Diego citizens opting to receive their ballot at home. Officials indicate that a large percentage of mail-in voters are Latinos, and that their completed ballots must be mailed and postmarked on or before November 8 for them to be considered valid. Their ballots can also be dropped off at the Registrar’s office or at any voting polling location throughout the County.
In San Diego County, 35 local measures will be voted on. Among these are Measure A, the half-cent tax sponsored by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) for roadway infrastructure projects; Measure C for a new downtown football stadium; Measure K which amends runoff elections rules for local offices; Measure N for imposing a tax on non-medical marijuana use, contingent on approval of State Proposition 64 authorizing non-medical marijuana use; as well as measures to be voted on by specific city residents, such as Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Poway.

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