More than 725K county voters already have cast ballots for election

Presidential Election 2020

Poll watchers will be permitted to observe election activities at polling stations countywide on Nov. 3 but there are limitations of how many people can be allowed inside. (Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – More than 725,000 San Diego County voters have cast their ballots in the Nov. 3 election, 435,000 more than by this date for the November 2016 election, the Registrar of Voters reported Monday.

More than one-third of the county’s 1.95 million voters have cast ballots. Mail-in ballots were sent to all registered voters in the county on Oct. 5, even those who had not requested one.

Voters can return their marked ballot in the pre-paid postage envelope to any U.S. Postal Service office or collection box.

Ballots received by the registrar’s office this week should be processed in time for the first release of Election Night results posted shortly after 8 p.m.

The Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa is open for early voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays for those preferring to vote in person. Voters can also cast their ballots at their assigned polling place, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Saturday through next Monday.

All will again be open on Election Day, Nov. 3, when the voting hours change to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters also have the option to drop off their ballot at one of 126 drop-off locations around the county — including dozens of libraries, YMCAs, county offices and The Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the registrar’s office encourages older adults and people with underlying medical conditions to avoid long lines and crowded polling places by voting early.

Registrar Michael Vu announced that his office is working with county public health services to ensure the health and safety of election workers and voters.

Personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies will be provided to staffers so they can conduct the election process safely.

An in-person voting location tool can be found on the county’s voting website, SDvote.com.

Voters casting ballots in person are instructed to bring a face mask and plan to maintain social distance.

“We encourage voters to act early and make voting decisions from the comfort and safety of their home,” Vu said.

“Mark your ballot, sign, seal and return your mail ballot to a trusted source. The sooner we receive your ballot, the sooner we can start processing it so it will be counted right when the polls close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.”

Locations of vote centers were chosen and configured to allow for queuing and voting while maintaining six feet of social distance, officials said. Masks will be required inside, but residents unable or unwilling to wear them will be allowed to vote curbside.

However, officials noted that the need to social distance may create longer lines than usual at in-person locations.

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