SAN DIEGO — All 235 “super poll” locations across San Diego County opened for in-person voting Saturday morning as part of the many ways officials are trying to make it easier to safely cast a ballot during the coronavirus pandemic.
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While the county’s registrar of voters still recommends dropping off mail-in ballots in a drop box near you, people who want to vote in person have four full days to head to the super polls, which are a new addition for 2020 and set up in larger facilities with health precautions in mind.
“There are fewer polling places than in past elections, and the location of your poll has most likely changed, so check the back of your sample ballot and voter information pamphlet for your assigned poll before you head out to vote this weekend,” the county explains.
Registrar Michael Vu gave a tour Friday at the Mira Mesa Recreation Center, which is one of the new super poll locations. He explained that the county consolidated a much larger number of typical polling sites into the more than 200 super poll locations and expanded the number of days they were open to help avoid big crowds and long lines. It’s an unprecedented re-shuffling of voting in the county.
“There’s never been a time in San Diego County’s election history where a presidential election was not conducted in a traditional neighborhood polling place and format,” Vu said.
All day Friday, election workers were setting up the different locations — spacing out voting booths and putting up protective shields. Vu says the county purchased 800,000 gloves, 300,000 masks and 12,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to protect voters and workers.
“We will monitor at the registrar’s office and have a command center to ensure that all 235 sites are up and running and smooth operations for our voters, as well as making sure that everything is safe and healthy,” Vu said.
As of Friday morning, the county’s registrar of voters reported 974,000 ballots were already in — about half of the region’s 1.92 million voters. Primarily, those votes had been cast by mail or placed in drop boxes around the county. Now in-person voting will begin in earnest.
Voters can cast their ballots at their assigned polling place, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Saturday through next Monday. All polling places will again be open on Election Day, when the voting hours change to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
And if residents still have a mail-in ballot, there are designated drop-off locations available through Nov. 3. Double-check hours at each location’s website. While the recommended date to mail in your ballot has already passed, any ballot postmarked Nov. 3 or earlier will also still be counted.