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High Voter Turnout Expected in San Diego for California's Recall Election

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 9/15/2021 NBC 7 Staff
a person holding a sign: An “I Voted” sticker is held in front of the San Diego Registrar of Voters’s office. © Provided by NBC San Diego

An “I Voted” sticker is held in front of the San Diego Registrar of Voters’s office.

It’s a big day for California voters as they decide the fate of Gov. Gavin Newsom in the first recall election since 2003.

A high voter turnout is anticipated as droves of San Diegans are expected to flock to the polls Tuesday for Election Day. Already more than 875,000 ballots were received and the San Diego Registrar of Voters said it expects a 70% turnout for this election.

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“There are a lot of issues that are really important to people in our community, especially people who are marginalized and who need a voice and it’s important to vote so that way, not only your beliefs are represented, but you’re also looking out for them,” one voter at the polls told NBC 7 on Tuesday.

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Another said he came out to vote at the Registrar's office to ensure he's doing his part.

“With COVID last year and just all the things that are going on in America, I just wanted to make sure I’m doing my civil duty to make sure American voters’ voices are being heard," he said.

Since in-person voting began days prior, electorates have already cast their ballots at the Registrar's office.

"I think it's my duty as a registered voter to do my duty, so that's the reason I'm coming," said one voter who cast their ballot at the Registrar of Voters’ office on Monday.

"We all should be voting,” another said. “It's a way to express our opinions and beliefs through those that we vote for," one said.

Click here for information on how to find your polling place.

Gig Conaughton of the County Communications Office said there are 1,970,708 registered voters in the San Diego County as of Aug. 31, with 805,082 Democratic voters, 535,288 Republicans, 517,424 nonpartisan and 112,914 listed as other party voters.

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Voters are asked two questions on this year’s ballot:

  1. Should Gov. Gavin Newsom be recalled?
  2. Who should replace him?

If more than 50% of voters vote to recall the governor, the replacement candidate with the most votes will take office. A crowded pool of more than 40 candidates has been listed on the ballot, with room for a write-in.

Cynthia Paes, the county's Interim Registrar of Voters, said ballots are processed thoroughly and protected against fraud with workers' careful protocols.

"We have chain of custody protocols from the polls to the collection centers to our office," Paes explained. "Even the collection centers tonight, there will be sheriff’s deputies following those trucks back into our office. Ballots – there’s always a chain of custody of two election workers with them at all times.”

The special election effort began in June 2020 when petitioners gathered more than 1.6 million signatures in support that were verified, which allowed the movement to progress.

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