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High voter turnout expected in San Diego County for recall election

San Diego Registrar of Voters looking for poll workers
Posted at 7:26 PM, Sep 12, 2021

KEARNY MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — This weekend, thousands of early votes continued to pour in for Gavin Newsom's Gubernatorial Recall Election on September 14.

Election officials at the Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa said they expect a high voter turnout for the tight race in San Deigo County.

"At this point, everything is going smoothly, voting locations are opening, voters are participating,” Cynthia Paes, Interim Registrar of Voters, said.

As of Sunday, 815,042 mail-in ballots have been returned to the ROV office.

“Those are being processed to be ready for count on election night," Paes said.

Paes said voting by mail has hugely become the preferred method since the pandemic.

In the 2020 November general election, out of 1.6 million voters who participated, less than 200,000 people went to the polls.

“Even going into the March primary in 2020, nearly 75 percent of registered voters were vote by mail already and now nearly 80 percent are permanent vote by mail,” Paes said.

As for in-person voting, nearly 9,000 people have cast their ballots at polling places around San Diego county so far, including at the ROV office.

Paes said something they’re highlighting in this election is that you can vote at any polling location within the county.

“We have the ballot marking device, which can pull up any variation of their ballot," she said. “To have the freedom to go to any polling location to vote is just an extra convenience for voters.”

Tuesday’s recall election will be the 55th attempt to recall a California Governor in the state’s history.

Only one was successful, which was the removal of Gray Davis from office in 2003.
In that election, the voter turnout was 66.66%.

With anyone now allowed to vote by mail, Paes said she expects a slightly bigger turnout this year at 70%.

“We didn’t have that in 2003. In this election and across the state all registered voters are receiving a ballot in the mail so we anticipate maybe a bit of a higher turnout just because of that convenience,” she said.

Paes said they'll know the exact voter turnout on October 14 when they certify the election results to the Secretary of State.