Early ballot counts as of Monday place voter turnout in San Francisco at around 28 percent, which is on the high side for a midterm election, according to the San Francisco Department of Elections.
“In the June 2018 election, the turnout at this point was about 20 percent,” said John Arntz, director of the San Francisco Department of Elections. “For the November 2016 election – our most recent presidential – the turnout at this point was 34 percent.”
“This is a very solid turnout for a midterm election,” he said.
That large turnout matches the national trend for this Election Day.
We won’t know how those voters voted until the first batch of returns is released tonight at 8:45 p.m. on the department’s website. Subsequent releases scheduled for 9:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. will include ballots cast at polling places across the city Tuesday.
Arntz said that of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, approximately 1,800 people had come to City Hall to cast their vote in person, much more than the number of people in June.
Eligible voters who are not registered can come to City Hall on Election Day to register on the spot and vote immediately. More than half of the people who came to City Hall to vote in person Tuesday were not previously registered, Arntz said.
Daniel DeYoung, 28, said he moved to San Francisco from the East Bay about a year and a half ago and hadn’t yet re-registered to vote in The City, so he came to City Hall.
“I used to be more diligent, but you get disillusioned over things,” he said. “Obviously with Trump and whatnot, it gives you more of a reason (to vote),” he said. “And I didn’t want to get shit from my girlfriend (for not voting).”
Another voter, Marissa Mota, 21, said she was registered to vote, but her polling place didn’t have her listed on their roster. She could have cast a provisional ballot, but had to travel near City Hall anyway, she said.
Arntz said that a few minor voting glitches were observed Tuesday, but characterized them as routine issues common to every election.
“In the morning, there are always challenges getting things open. One inspector didn’t show up in the Outer Sunset, and we had to send someone out there,” he said. “It happens. You don’t like it, but it happens.”
Poll workers showed up at another polling place to find that the electricity was out and had to scramble to find working power outlets.
“But otherwise, nothing crazy, nothing systemic,” Arntz said.
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