SAN DIEGO — Early voting has started in San Diego County with some mail-in ballots arriving and others en route.
Some registered voters received their ballots over the weekend, while others will start seeing them the week of October 10.
Voters can take advantage of early voting at the Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa. Hours run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
However, the office encourages people to take advantage of voting-by-mail.
Local civil rights activist and voting advocates are stressing the importance of this midterm election.
“Every time you have the opportunity to go to the ballot, it matters,” said Shane Harris, a local civil rights activist. Harris is also the president and founder of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates. She said they will be assisting voters with understanding the ballots, in a non-partisan way.
Get out and vote, a simple message from Harris. “Really critical election for folks to get ready for,” she said.
The county Registrar of Voters said they sent out more than 1.9 million ballots to registered voters. People are voting in the California Midterm General Election. People will vote on local and state leaders as well as local and state ballot measures.
Harris said, “These are the people that are going to go to Sacramento, go to D.C.. go to city hall and create laws policy and one way or another, it’s really important to have your voice heard.”
People can vote at home and mail it in, with no postage needed. Or they can drop it off at an official drop box. People should remember to sign and date the envelope, because signature is required for your vote to count.
Harris said this means encouraging historically marginalized communities to vote.
“Specifically, when you talk about minorities and communities of color, we need to see the responsibility that we have to the ballot box,” Harris said. “People, so many people, paid the price for our right to go to the ballot box and decide the variety of things we get to have a decision in.”
“We are all about empowering voters and defending democracy,” said Kim Knox, the President of the League of Women Voters San Diego.
Knox said voters have a chance to weigh in, knowing every vote counts.
She said, “Some elections are decided by a very small number of votes, so you never know. It’s also important to do what you can to learn what’s on your ballot, the candidates, and make an informed decision.”
Vote advocates advice people to take some time to research their candidates and measures.
“Your voice does matter, history does count, and we have the right and the opportunity to frame the narrative,: Harris said. “And that happens at the ballot box.”
The deadline to register to vote online or by mail is October 24. However, people can also register in person from October 10 until Election day on November 8 and vote provisionally.