‘It’s my sacred honor’: Voters head to polls for recall election

California Governor Recall

RESULTS: See how San Diego County and voters statewide voted in the recall election.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Registrar’s office is expecting a flood of ballots to roll in for the California recall election.

“For an off year election, we’re at about a 45% turnout right now and that’s pretty good for an election that’s off year, but there’s quite a bit of interest in it,” Interim Registrar of Voters’ Cynthia Paes said.

According to the Registrar of Voters, more than 900,000 ballots had rolled in before Election Day. There are a record 1.96 million registered voters across the county.

C.T. Smith has lived in California for 40 years and said he hasn’t missed an opportunity to vote yet.

“It’s my sacred honor, my sacred duty,” he said. “And acknowledging the sacrifices that so many have done prior to my ability to be here today, I have to respect their sacrifices.”

While he went to the polls in person because he said it is his duty, other voters said they were fed up with Gov. Gavin Newsom.

One woman told FOX 5 the way he has handled the pandemic prompted her to vote “YES” to recall him.

“Now we’re to the point where we’re talking about vaccinating children, little kids that aren’t even affected by the virus,” Natalie Hays said.

There are 221 in-person polling locations that will remain open through 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night. Voters must be in line by that time to cast a ballot.

Though polls will close Tuesday, that doesn’t necessarily mean Californians will get results.

“Election night is not the end all,” Paes explained. “There are still ballots being added to the count.”

The Registrar’s office mailed over 1.96 million ballots for this election and anticipates between 200,000 to 250,000 mail ballots could be dropped off at voting locations or picked up at the U.S. Postal Service on election day. Plus, mail ballots sent right before or on election day have seven days to arrive if postmarked by election day.

Then, there are provisional ballots. People who missed the Aug. 30 registration deadline may conditionally register and vote provisionally up to and on election day. It’s unknown how many people will choose to do that. For each provisional ballot, election workers must make sure the voter didn’t already cast a ballot.

After election night, the next release of unofficial results will be Thursday, Sept. 16 after 5 p.m. Additional postings may occur at the discretion of the Registrar.

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