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Flood aftermath impacting March primary voter outreach, turnout

Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 20:00:29-05

BARRIO LOGAN, Calif. (KGTV) — With the March 5 primary less than two weeks away, Alliance San Diego is doing everything possible to get the word out to vote.

However, last month's flooding has made outreach efforts more challenging this year.

The entire first floor of the community organization's office in Barrio Logan was damaged during the storm.

Itzel Maganda Chavez, the Civic Engagement Director, said they had to move the call center operations upstairs.

But, volunteers are still determined to get out the vote.

"As of last night, we reached 1,315 folks," Maganda Chavez said.

Canvassers have been going door-to-door in neighborhoods like Mountain View that have been heavily impacted by flooding.

10News spoke to one woman who said she didn't plan on voting in the primary.

"Because there's a lot going on as far as having the stuff to pay for... just focused on moving out. That's [primary] not really the number one priority on my list," the woman explained.

She added her car and part of the home were damaged during the storm.

Maganda Chavez said many voters have also been displaced, so informing people about the election is even more difficult.

"A lot of folks aren't even at those homes anymore. Those homes are uninhabitable, and so folks aren't even there or even thinking about an election," Maganda Chavez said.

Historically, the primary election has a lower voter turnout than the general election in November, but Maganda Chavez said it's just as important.

"Folks that are going to be on city council, that are going to be leading the city, that are going to be making policies that impact our lives is really what's at stake," Maganda Chavez said.

Alliance San Diego said it is also canvassing at hotels where people who were displaced may be staying.