By Miriam Raftery
April 17, 2016 (San Diego) --In light of issues in some other states about long lines to vote, cuts in polling places or numbers of voting machines, lack of enough voting machines on college campuses and Indian reservations, and an inquiry from a reader, we sent questions to San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu. We also asked about deadlines to register to vote , change parties or get a mail ballot for the June 7 primary, and procedures to verify your registration. In addition, we got information on how you can vote early, as well as the need for poll workers, particularly bilingual poll workers for the election.
Below are our questions, along with Vu’s responses.
1. How many polling places and voting machines will there be in San Diego County for the June primary?
Response: For the June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary there will be 1,522 voting precincts across the County. Although the numbers have not been finalized, there will be approximately 10K to 11K (10,000 to 11,000) voting booths setup on Election Day. Each voting precinct will also have a touchscreen at each voting precinct.
2. How many polling places and how many voting machines were there for the 2008 and 2012 primaries?
Feb 2008: 1,650 Voting Precincts / 10,642 Voting Booths
Jun 2008: 1,652 Voting Precincts / 11,166 Voting Booths
Jun 2012: 1,432 Voting Precincts / 10,928 Voting Booths
3. If the number is less today than in the past, why?
Response: Whether it is more or less than in previous elections, the number of voting precincts changes each election depending on the number of registered voters and contests on the ballot.
4. Are there areas where you are having trouble finding places for polls, and if so where? Perhaps readers will volunteer to host polling places at their sites.
Response: Not at this time, however, we like to encourage the public to sign up to be a poll worker to serve their neighbors and community.
5. We have heard [from a Campo reader] that there is no polling place listed in Campo. Is that accurate and if so, why?
Response: A polling place in Campo is established for the upcoming election. The name of the building is CAMPO TOWN HALL, 999 1/2 SHERIDAN RD, CAMPO, CA 91906. As explained above, one variable that contributes to the number of voting precincts includes the number of registered voters, the contests that will be on the ballot and the number of ballot types the election calls for. How precincts are consolidated may dictate whether a voting precinct will be assigned a polling place.
6. Please provide the list of all polling places countywide, in an electronic copy, so that our staff and our readers can check to see if other towns or communities are missing a place to vote.
Response: At this time, this list has not been finalized and is not available.
7. How many polling places and voting machines will there be at the college and university campuses in San Diego County, including community colleges, UC and CSU facilities? Please provide a specific breakdown by campus.
Response: For the June 2016 Primary there will be 20 voting precincts at 15 physical polling places. The number of voting booths has yet to be determined, however, there will be 1 touchscreen per voting precinct.
8. How do those numbers compare to the number of polling places and voting machines on college and university campuses in the 2008 and 2012 primaries?
Response: Feb 2008: 11 voting precincts at 8 physical polling places / Jun 2008: 10 voting precincts at 7 physical polling places / Jun 2012: 15 voting precincts at 9 physical polling places
9. Do you have polling places on each of the Native American reservations in our county?
Response: No. There are 21 known reservations in San Diego County – 8 have an assigned polling place and 13 are declared mail ballot voting precincts. Pursuant to State Law, voters who are in a declared mail ballot voting precinct have the opportunity to visit their closest polling place that has their identical ballot type.
10. Given the high predicted turnout for this election, will your office assure that there are enough ballots at every polling place?
Response: We intend to have sufficient number of ballots ordered for each voting precinct and, as in any election, will closely monitor the interest in the election and increase our printing of ballots accordingly.
11. Our understand is that in CA, people must be a registered Republican to vote in the Republican primary, but that Democrats allow both Democrats and decline to state voters (but not other parties) to vote in their presidential primaries – is that correct?
12. What is the link for people to verify their registration and party affiliation?
Response: http://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Eng/Voters.asp On our homepage (www.sdvote.com) this link is called “Check Your Voter Registration”
13. When is the deadline for people to register or change party affiliation?
Response: May 23, 2016
14. What is the last day to request a mail-in ballot?
Response: May 31, 2016
15. What date will early voting begin and where are the early voting locations? Please include dates, times, addresses etc.
Response: May 9, 2016 at the Registrar of Voters Office located at 5600 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123. Mon-Fri from 8 am to 5 pm
We will be open the Saturday and Sunday before Election Day for Weekend Voting. Hours are from 8 am to 5 pm.
16. Who should people contact if they have any problems voting or observe any irregularities at polling places?
17. Do you have enough poll workers? If not, are there speakers in specific languages that you still need?
Response: There is a need for poll workers. For this election, we will need approximately 8,000 poll workers. Of that number, nearly 2,000 will be bilingual poll workers.
American Independent Party warning!