Democrats hold a party affiliation edge when it comes to registered voters in San Joaquin County.
But with roughly one-quarter of all registered voters unaffiliated with a political party, the 43,000 voter edge that the Democrats hold over the Republicans might not necessarily matter when the polls close tonight for the 2018 Gubernatorial election.
According to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office, of the 345,044 registered voters, 143,402 of them are Democrats compared to 100,402 registered Republicans. Approximately 85,160 of those more than 345,000, however, declined to align themselves with a political party – a fact that could neutralize the gains that Democrats have made in the heart of California over the last several decades.
In Manteca specifically, which has 39,149 registered voters, Democrats hold an even slighter majority of major party voters – 14,628 registered Democrats are eligible to vote in this election compared to 12,000 registered Republicans. There are also 10,358 unaffiliated voters – more than enough to swing a particular race to either party.
And while it is typically Presidential elections that draw record crowds, the county is preparing as if that were the case – recruiting more than 1,800 precinct workers and volunteers to ensure that voting goes smoothly across the county.
According to Registrar Melinda Dubroff, steps have been taken to ensure that precinct locations don’t get too backed up – like splitting the check-in process in half so that two lines can simultaneously move rather than sending everybody through the same line.
Dubroff said that she does not anticipate massive lines or long waits – which are a staple in other parts of the country – and believes that there are more than enough volunteers on hand to ensure that things will go smoothly.
And part what will make that possible is the fact that more than two-thirds of the registered voters in the county are voting by mail this election – cutting the number of people who actually have to receive a paper ballot tremendously, and making it easier to serve those that do.
Those that are voting absentee that want their ballot to be counted must have the envelope – with the proper postage, in which two stamps are required – postmarked by the end of the day today. Even if the enveloped is postmarked in time, the ballots must be received by the registrar’s office by Friday to ensure that they’re eligible to be tabulated.
With such a large number of ballots already returned to the registrar’s office, unofficial results can be available not long after polls are closed and the ballots are brought in for counting, giving candidates a better idea of how they will likely fare prior to the certification of the election results.
But things can still change when those last ballots are finally tabulated.
Twice in the last four elections the leading vote getter for the second of two seats on the Lathrop City Council has changed between the unofficial final results and when the results are certified – something that has taken place in other parts of San Joaquin County as well.
Vote-by-mail ballots will be accepted at every polling place in San Joaquin County today, but the registrar’s office is also encouraging people to use drop boxes at places like local City Halls if they wish to avoid standing in line at their local polling place.
For a list of polling places, or for more information about the upcoming election, visit the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office online at www.sjrov.org.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.