Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Gubernatorial Primary, June 7

 

Last updated 6/13/2022 at 12:23pm

The June 7 Gubernatorial Primary Election is slowly approaching, and things are different this year. For those voting, you will need to either mail in your ballot, drop it off at a secure location or vote in-person at a Vote Center, which replaces polling places.

Vote Centers offer a full-service voting experience from accessible ballot marking devices, voting assistance in multiple languages, and update your registration to still be able to vote on the same day.

This change came from a vote by the San Diego Board of Supervisors that directed the Registrar of Voters to transition to the Voter's Choice Act model.

There are 240 voting centers in the county and you can vote at any of them. Select centers would begin opening on May 28. Starting on June 4, all locations will be open for four days, including Election Day. Under the traditional polling place model, voters had to vote on Election Day at their assigned polling place. Those who did not go to their assigned polling place had to vote provisionally. Vote centers nearly eliminate the need to cast a provisional ballot.

In Borrego, it will be at the Borrego Springs High School Gym, and open for four days: June 4, 5 and 6 at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and June 7 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You are also able to bring your mailed ballot to the center and cast your mailed paper ballot into the official ballot box. You can fill them out there as well. They will not be providing any paper ballots. They can vote on the ballot marking devices.

In the February 17 issue of the Borrego Sun, reporter Nikki Symington broke down what this meant for voters. You can read the full article here: https://www.borregosun.com/story/2022/03/01/news/polling-places-replaced/6934.html

In the article, Symington noted that under the act, every active registered voter will automatically receive a ballot in the mail and have options for how to return their ballot: by mail, to a secure ballot drop box, or vote in-person at any vote center. The concept won't be entirely new to local voters. The Registrar of Voters used a similar format for the November 2020 presidential general and September 2021 gubernatorial recall elections. She also stated that more than 200 voting locations opened throughout San Diego County and allowed voters four days to cast their ballot in-person.The number of vote centers is based on total voter registration. The law requires one for every 50,000 voters for 11 days and one for every 10,000 voters for four days. In San Diego County, current registration figures mean a minimum of 197 vote centers would open for four days including election day. Forty of the 197 would open an additional seven days for a total of 11 days. The new model also streamlines the election process for the Registrar's office. Voters will no longer have an assigned polling place and can visit any voter center. Election workers at the vote centers will use state-certified electronic poll books to look up the same information available at the Registrar's office. Polling places did not have this capability, requiring some voters to cast provisional ballots. Verifying provisional ballots can take two weeks or more after election day.

The Board also voted to fund secure mail ballot drop boxes throughout the County to drop off mail-in ballots. Based on the number of current registered voters, the Registrar must provide 132 ballot drop-off sites starting 29 days before the election. Vote centers would also act as drop-off sites.

The ballot marking device is also explained. The ballot marking device allows election workers to pull up the voter's correct ballot type and the voter can continue with the English ballot or select one of the county's four federally covered languages (Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Chinese) at any vote center.

The ballot marking device is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), also the ballot marking device does not tabulate or count any votes and it does not store any voter information. After the voter confirms a selection, the voter must print out their official ballot on the paired printer in the voting booth and place it in the ballot box to be counted at the Registrar's office. With the use of electronic poll books and a full deployment of ballot marking devices, these centers allow voters to update their registration or register to vote and cast a ballot the same day.

A complete list of Ballot Drop Box and Vote Center locations will be available at sdvote.com.

Contested high-profile races include those for attorney general, state controller, San Diego County sheriff and mayor of Chula Vista. Other races include the CA Assembly 75th District between Randy Voepel and Marie Waldron.

Among the races you won't see are district attorney, where incumbent Summer Stephan is unopposed, and three other county races with just two candidates: supervisor in District 5, treasurer-tax collector and assessor/recorder/clerk.

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