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Polling locations open for four days in San Diego election first

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REGION — In a first for San Diego County elections, the polls for the Nov. 3 Presidential General Election will open for four days, starting Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In light of COVID-19, voters were encouraged to vote from home using their mail ballot. This close to the election, voters are advised to not mail in ballots, as they may not reach the registrar in time.

For those who want to vote in person, they can vote early at their assigned polling place from Saturday, Oct. 31 through Monday, Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday and polls will be open until 8 p.m.

On Thursday, the registrar reported nearly half of the county’s 1.95 million registered voters had already cast their ballots, more than double the number received by that point in 2016.

More than 937,000 ballots had been received as of Thursday. At this point in the 2016 presidential election, the registrar had received 409,702 ballots.

Even so, due to the pandemic and a predicted high voter turnout, the registrar’s office is continuing to urge voters to avoid long lines and crowded polling places by voting before Election Day itself.

Mail-in ballots were sent to all registered voters in the county on Oct. 5, even those who had not requested one.

There are fewer polling places than in past elections, and the location of some polls have changed so voters are encouraged to check the back of their sample ballot and voter information pamphlet before heading out to vote this weekend.

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 thecomfort 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.”

Assigned polls were included on the registrar’s postcard reminder sent to voters last week or voters can look it up at sdvote.com. Voters can also confirm their ballot was received by the registrar’s office online at the same site.

The hours at the polls and the Registrar of Voters office will change to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. Voters should prepare for long lines.

A statement from the registrar also reminds San Diegans campaigning or electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place or mail ballot drop-off location is not allowed. This includes the visible display or audible dissemination of information that advocates for or against any candidate or measure on the ballot.