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SAN DIEGO — Californians are headed to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom with nearly four dozen people running to replace him.

But when should San Diego County voters expect to know the result?

According to the county’s Registrar of Voters, it will take some time, particularly given that San Diego County has a record-high 1.96 million registered voters.

Here are some reasons why

  • More mail ballots issued than ever before because every active registered voter received a ballot in the mail;
  • Mail ballots can be counted if postmarked on or before election day and received on or before Sept. 21; and
  • Voting locations opened for a four-day period, Sept. 11 – Sept. 14.

What to expect on election night

County elections officials say the first set of unofficial results will appear shortly after 8 p.m. This includes mail ballots received before election day, including polls ballots from early voting between Sept. 11 – 13.

After the first unofficial report, election night updates only will add ballots cast at polls on election day.

The election day ballots come in after the polls close at 8 p.m. Officials say there may be a gap in time for the next set of results due to poll workers packing up supplies at each location and driving from 221 voting locations across the county.

Upon arrival, ballots are scanned, and results will be periodically updated throughout the night until most of the precinct ballots have been counted, according to county officials.

However, the county says it may be midnight before all voting location ballots arrive at the Registrar’s. The final unofficial election night results may not come in until after 1 a.m. and will only cover the ballots that can be counted immediately. Follow the Registrar’s office on Twitter and FOX 5 for updates.

The counting of ballots does not end on election night.

Here’s what remains

Mail ballots: The Registrar’s office mailed more than 1.96 million ballots for the 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.

Provisional ballots: County officials say 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. Election workers must make sure the voter didn’t already cast a ballot for each provisional ballot.

After election night, the next release of unofficial results will be Thursday, Sept. 16 after 5 p.m., according to the county. Additional postings may occur at the discretion of the Registrar. However, election results must be certified 30 days after election day, on Oct. 14, and the Registrar expects to use every minute of the certification period to make sure the results are accurate.