San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters Ready for Primary Election :

The primary election is just days away and the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters has been busy working to ensure that voters have the most precise information and a smooth experience casting their ballots on election day.

The primary election is just days away and the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters has been busy working to ensure that voters have the most precise information and a smooth experience casting their ballots on election day.

Heather Ditty, who became the county’s registrar of voters in December 2021, said her office has spent months building ballots, creating the county’s voter information guide, preparing polling places and conducting accuracy tests on equipment. 

“We always prepare for the worst, but hopefully that never happens,” she said. 

Ditty said San Joaquin County has an “overabundance” of poll workers and volunteers. For convenience, the county has switched to online training for poll workers. It allows people to receive training and participate without taking time off work.

Low turnout expected

As of May 20, 2022, San Joaquin County had 383,810 registered voters.

“This is notoriously the lowest of the four elections for turnout, but we’re getting quite a bit of vote by mail ballots back,” Ditty said. 

Each California registered voter is supposed to receive a mail-in ballot whether requested or not. Inspired by the pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB37 into law, which makes permanent the measure to send a mail ballot to every registered voter in the state.

San Joaquin County began distributing ballots in early May. Voters who have yet to return their completed ballot can mail it in—must be postmarked by June 7—or drop off their ballot at one of the official drop box locations or polling places, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. Drop boxes are open during the locations’ business hours for the days leading up to election day. On June 7, all ballot drop boxes will be available starting at 7 a.m. and will be closed and locked at 8 p.m. 

We always prepare for the worst, but hopefully that never happens

Heather Ditty, San Joaquin County’s Registrar of Voters

The majority of votes cast in the last several elections in the county have been mail-in ballots, according to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters. Voting by mail is secure, but people can still opt to cast their vote in person.

Whether people choose to vote by mail or go to a polling place, what’s important is that they make their voices heard, Ditty said.

Ditty is unable to predict the voter turnout this time around, as vote by mail is resulting in higher-than-average participation, she says. Initial results—based on mail-in ballots—can be expected around 8:15 p.m. on election night. The second round of results will be available around 10 p.m. However, ballots dropped off on election day and conditional and provisional ballots will still be left to be counted. 

“We will do our best to certify as quickly as we can,” she said. Final results are not due to the Secretary of State until July 7.

A list of polling places in Stockton can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.

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