Elections

New, Convenient Service for Mail Ballot Voters

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Mail ballot voters will have a new option when it comes to casting their ballots for the Nov. 4 Gubernatorial General Election.

Starting Monday, Oct. 27 through Nov. 3, the Registrar of Voters is allowing 14 sites across the County to accept completed mail ballots before Election Day. Currently only the Registrar of Voters office is taking drop-offs. The rest of the mail ballots must be sent through the post office or dropped off at a polling place on Election Day. 

“The number of voters who opt to vote by mail continues to rise and this new program will help with the timely return of mail ballots, decrease the high volume of voters dropping off mail ballots at polling places, and expand our services,” said Registrar Michael Vu.  

The quick return of mail ballots speeds up the overall counting process because they can be prepared before Election Day saving time and taxpayer dollars. In the days just prior to Election Day, the U.S. Postal Service cannot guarantee that ballots will arrive before the 8 p.m. election deadline on Nov. 4. Those late votes can’t be counted;   the new drop-off locations will help ensure ballots are received in time.  

The pilot program will allow mail ballot voters to swing by any one of 12 libraries, the Oceanside City Clerk’s office or the Poway Senior Center and drop off their mail ballots during each location’s regular business hours. These drop-off locations are not early voting locations, but for mail ballots only. 

Registrar of Voters staff members will accept the mail ballots at the drop-off locations and give out “I Voted” stickers. Registrar employees will also follow specific protocols during the eight days of the pilot project to maintain security. The drop-off program was modeled after similar programs in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Sacramento and Sonoma counties. 

Registered voters can request a mail ballot until Oct. 28. Each packet contains an insert with additional information about the drop-off locations.

Meantime, early voting is already underway at the Registrar’s new location at 5600 Overland Ave., San Diego, 92123.   Voters can cast their ballots there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Election Day when the voting hours will change to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to reflect the hours at the polls, or between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 2.

For additional election information, call (858) 565-5800 or visit sdvote.com.

 

 

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact