Heading around the neighborhood, most polling places are reporting slower than normal turnout.
“It’s been pretty slow,” said Destiny Paz, a Point Loma High School senior who is an election volunteer at the Beardsley Mitchell Funeral
Home polling place on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. “I don’t know how else to describe it. Very quiet.”
Things have been a bit livelier at the Ocean Beach Rec Center, where Rose Novales volunteers with her daughter, Eleanor.
“We’ve been busy. People have been flowing in, which is nice. I don’t want to fall asleep,” she said.
Novales got involved with her daughter about eight years ago. She suffered from glaucoma and lost her vision for more than a year. When she tried to vote, she wasn’t given the proper instruction and was unable to cast a ballot.
“I lost my vote a couple of times. I said, ‘I’m going to start volunteering. We’re given the right to vote. I want to help with the process.’”
Jim Beatty, a volunteer for the Election Integrity Project with his wife Carol, has been patrolling the voting booths in OB all morning. He said things have run smoothly so far.
“Our objective is to provide another set of eyes in the polling and make sure everything is clear,” Beatty said.
He said one of his big concerns is with absentee balloting.
“One of the targets is older people in homes who can’t get out to vote. It’s something we’re trying to figure out.”
From early voting, it seems a large chunk of the votes are from people bringing in absentee or mail-in ballots.
Novales said there were quite a few voters who brought in their absentee ballots in the morning.
In contrast, Susan Hildebrand, who volunteers in a garage polling place up the hill on Newport Avenue, said they haven’t had much of anyone voting today.
“It’s the least it’s ever been for me. Usually we have at least six or seven people waiting in the morning (when the polls open). Today we had one.”
She said things usually run smoothly at her spot.
“We’ve never had a problem. People come in, vote and are happy with the process.”
Back in the funeral home, Paz wonders if people have been confused by a change in precincts and polling places. The construction that has closed Sunset Cliffs just outside their door probably isn’t the best for encouraging voters.
“A couple people came in here with the wrong precinct. But we were able to point them in the right direction,” she said. “It doesn’t help that we’re in a funeral home.”
Dennis Dominguez, a Point Loma resident who is an assistant inspector for elections, takes the day off work to help supervise the poll at the funeral home.
He thought there would be more people coming out than the 50 or so they’ve seen as of mid-morning. He said it was a pretty simple election.
“There’s not really much to talk about,” he said, holding up a ballot with the lone election on it. “You’d think there would be better turnout.”